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A Generative Model for Rhythms

Jean-Francois Paiement
Samy Bengio
Yves Grandvalet
Neural Information Processing Systems, Workshop on Brain, Music and Cognition (2008)


Modeling music involves capturing long-term dependencies in time series, which has proved very difficult to achieve with traditional statistical methods. The same problem occurs when only considering rhythms. In this paper, we introduce a generative model for rhythms based on the distributions of distances between subsequences. A specific implementation of the model when considering Hamming distances over a simple rhythm representation is described. The proposed model consistently outperforms a standard Hidden Markov Model in terms of conditional prediction accuracy on two different music databases.

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