Study of the Similarity Between Linguistic Tones and Melodic Pitch Contours in Beijing Opera Singing

TitleStudy of the Similarity Between Linguistic Tones and Melodic Pitch Contours in Beijing Opera Singing
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
Conference Name15th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference
AuthorsZhang, S., Caro Repetto R., & Serra X.
Pagination343-348
Conference Start Date27/10/2014
Conference LocationTaipei, Taiwan
AbstractFeatures of linguistic tone contours are important factors that shape the distinct melodic characteristics of different genres of Chinese opera. In Beijing opera, the presence of a two-dialectal tone system makes the tone-melody relationship more complex. In this paper, we propose a novel data-driven approach to analyze syllable-sized tone-pitch contour similarity in a corpus of Beijing Opera (381 arias) with statistical modeling and machine learning methods. A total number of 1,993 pitch contour units and attributes were extracted from a selection of 20 arias. We then build Smoothing Spline ANOVA models to compute matrixes of average melodic contour curves by tone category and other attributes. A set of machine learning and statistical analysis methods are applied to 30-point pitch contour vectors as well as dimensionality-reduced representations using Symbolic Aggregate approXimation(SAX). The results indicate an even mixture of shapes within all tone categories, with the absence of evidence for a predominant dialectal tone system in Beijing opera. We discuss the key methodological issues in melody-tone analysis and future work on pair-wise contour unit analysis.
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