Geometric Analysis of Musical Audio Data

Project Summary

In this work, we turn musical audio time series data into shapes for various tasks in music matching and musical structure understanding. 

Themes and Categories
Year
Contact
Christopher Tralie
Electrical and Computer Engineering
chris.tralie@gmail.com

In particular, we use sliding window representations of chunks of audio to create high dimensional time-ordered point clouds, and we extract information by analyzing the geometry of these clouds.  We have shown, for example, that sequences of these shapes can be used to identify two different versions of the same song, or "cover songs."  We have also shown that both local and global musical properties can be expressed in geometric language.  For instance, hip hop is very "wiggly" while classical music is very "smooth."  Choruses and verses tend to live in distinct clusters connected by paths, and "bridges," or detours to a different musical idea, show up as large loops.

Related People

Related Projects

A team of students will use a variety of data sets and mapping technologies to determine a feasible location for a deep-sea memorial to the transatlantic slave trade. While scholars have studied the overall mortality of the slave trade, little is known about where these deaths occurred. New mapping technologies can begin to supply this data. Led by English professor Charlotte Sussman, in association with the Representing Migrations Humanities Lab, this team will create a new database that combines previously-disparate data and archival sources to discover where on their journeys enslaved persons died, and then to visualize these journeys. This project will employ the resources of digital technologies as well as the humanistic methods of history, literature, philosophy, and other disciplines. The project welcomes students from a broad range of disciplines: computer science; mathematics; English and literature; history; African and African American studies; philosophy; art history; visual and media studies; geography; climatology; and ocean science.

 

Image credit:

J.M.W. Turner, Slave Ship, 1840, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (public domain)

Faculty Lead: Charlotte Sussman

Project Manager: Emma Davenport

The American public first encountered the term “genocide” in a Washington Post op-ed published in 1944; since then, the word’s meaning has been circulated, debated, and shaped by numerous forces, especially by words and images in newspapers. With the support of Dr. Priscilla Wald (English), a team of students led by Nora Nunn (English graduate student) and Astrid Giugni (English and ISS) will analyze how U.S. mass media—particularly newspapers—enlist text and imagery such as press photographs to portray genocide, human rights, and crimes against humanity from World War II to the present. From the Holocaust to Cambodia, from Rwanda to Myanmar, such representation has political consequences. If time allows, students will also study the representation of collective violence in Hollywood film, querying the relationship between human rights and genre. The implications of these findings could inform future coverage of human rights-related issues at home and abroad.

Faculty Leads: Nora Nunn, Astrid Giugni

How Much Profit is Too Much Profit?

A team of students led by history professor Sarah Deutsch will do data mining in newspaper and Congressional databases to investigate the dynamics behind the excess profits tax laws Congress passed between 1918 and 1948 and the concept of price gouging which continues to shape legislation today. As of 2018 numerous states have price gouging laws. Why? How did they define what was excessive? How did this critique of profit-making become mainstream without endangering capitalism? By searching extant newspaper and Congressional databases for the frequency and context of particular words and phrases, the project will begin to uncover the logic and language and the partisanship or lack of it used to critique profits at three moments in U.S. History that resulted in government action to limit profit-making.

(cartoon from The Masses July 1916)

Faculty Lead: Sarah Deutsch

Project Manager: Evan Donahue