Coupled Recurrent Models for Polyphonic Music Composition

John Thickstun, Zaid Harchaoui, Dean P. Foster, Sham M. Kakade

Sep 27, 2018 ICLR 2019 Conference Blind Submission readers: everyone Show Bibtex
  • Abstract: This work describes a novel recurrent model for music composition, which accounts for the rich statistical structure of polyphonic music. There are many ways to factor the probability distribution over musical scores; we consider the merits of various approaches and propose a new factorization that decomposes a score into a collection of concurrent, coupled time series: "parts." The model we propose borrows ideas from both convolutional neural models and recurrent neural models; we argue that these ideas are natural for capturing music's pitch invariances, temporal structure, and polyphony. We train generative models for homophonic and polyphonic composition on the KernScores dataset (Sapp, 2005), a collection of 2,300 musical scores comprised of around 2.8 million notes spanning time from the Renaissance to the early 20th century. While evaluation of generative models is know to be hard (Theis et al., 2016), we present careful quantitative results using a unit-adjusted cross entropy metric that is independent of how we factor the distribution over scores. We also present qualitative results using a blind discrimination test.
  • Keywords: music composition, music generation, polyphonic music modeling
  • TL;DR: New recurrent generative models for composition of rhythmically complex, polyphonic music.
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