Abstract: The tonic is a fundamental concept in Indian art music. It is the base pitch, which an artist chooses in order to construct the melodies during a rag(a) rendition, and all accompanying instruments are tuned using the tonic pitch. Consequently, tonic identification is a fundamental task for most computational analyses of Indian art music, such as intonation analysis, melodic motif analysis and rag recognition. In this paper we review existing approaches for tonic identification in Indian art music and evaluate them on six diverse datasets for a thorough comparison and analysis. We study the performance of each method in different contexts such as the presence/absence of additional metadata, the quality of audio data, the duration of audio data, music tradition (Hindustani/Carnatic) and the gender of the singer (male/female). We show that the approaches that combine multi-pitch analysis with machine learning provide the best performance in most cases (90% identification accuracy on average), and are robust across the aforementioned contexts compared to the approaches based on expert knowledge. In addition, we also show that the performance of the latter can be improved when additional metadata is available to further constrain the problem. Finally, we present a detailed error analysis of each method, providing further insights into the advantages and limitations of the methods.
- S. Gulati, A. Bellur, J. Salamon, H. G. Ranjani, V. Ishwar, H. A. Murthy, and X. Serra, "Automatic Tonic Identification in Indian Art Music: Approaches and Evaluation", J. of New Music Research, 43(1):53–71, Mar. 2014.
Congratulations to all of the authors, and in particular to Sankalp Gulati for all the effort he put into this paper.