Quantum Grid Analysis of Musical Signals

Jarno Seppänen

To appear at Workshop on Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics (WASPAA01), Mohonk Mountain Resort, NY, 21-24 October 2001


An algorithm for analyzing the rhythmic content of acoustic signals of polyphonic and multitimbral Western music is presented. The analysis consists of detecting sound onsets, computing an inter-onset interval (IOI) histogram, and estimating the duration of the shortest notes, i.e., the quantum period from the histogram. Robustness against tempo changes has been explicitly built into the system by using short-term memory for the quantum grid estimation. The results are directly applicable to computational music processing for making a musically useful segmentation and computing a musical time base. The proposed algorithm works causally and a real-time software implementation is available on-line. The performance of the system was validated for 50 musical excerpts, and the algorithm was found to be capable of finding the quantum grid from music with a regular rhythm.

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