Detecting Episodes with Harmonic Sequences for Fugue Analysis

Mathieu Giraud 1, 2, * Richard Groult 3 Florence Levé 3
* Corresponding author
2 BONSAI - Bioinformatics and Sequence Analysis
LIFL - Laboratoire d'Informatique Fondamentale de Lille, Inria Lille - Nord Europe
Abstract : Fugues alternate between instances of the subject and of other patterns, such as the counter-subject, and modulatory sections called episodes. The episodes play an important role in the overall design of a fugue: detecting them may help the analysis of the fugue, in complement to a subject and a counter-subject detection. We propose an algorithm to retrieve episodes in the fugues of the first book of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, starting from a symbolic score which is already track-separated. The algorithm does not use any information on subject or counter-subject occurrences, but tries to detect partial harmonic sequences, that is similar pitch contour in at least two voices. For this, it uses a substitution function considering "quantized partially overlapping intervals" [Lemström and Laine, 98] and a strict length matching for all notes, except for the first and the last one. On half of the tested fugues, the algorithm has correct or good results, enabling to sketch the design of the fugue.
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Mathieu Giraud, Richard Groult, Florence Levé. Detecting Episodes with Harmonic Sequences for Fugue Analysis. ISMIR - International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference - 2012, 2012, Porto, Portugal. ⟨hal-00712565⟩

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