A Reference Architecture and Score Representation for Popular Music Human-Computer Music Performance Systems

Gold, Nicolas E. and Dannenberg, Roger B.

Proceedings of the International Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression

Popular music (characterized by improvised instrumental parts, beat and measure-level organization, and steady tempo) poses challenges for human-computer music performance (HCMP). Pieces of music are typically rearrangeable on-the-fly and involve a high degree of variation from ensemble to ensemble, and even between rehearsal and performance. Computer systems aiming to participate in such ensembles must therefore cope with a dynamic high-level structure in addition to the more traditional problems of beat-tracking, score-following, and machine improvisation. There are many approaches to integrating the components required to implement dynamic human-computer music performance systems. This paper presents a reference architecture designed to allow the typical sub-components (e.g. beat-tracking, tempo prediction, improvisation) to be integrated in a consistent way, allowing them to be combined and/or compared systematically. In addition, the paper presents a dynamic score representation particularly suited to the demands of popular music performance by computer.