Information Retrieval of Marovany Zither Music Based on an Original Optical-Based System

Dorian Cazau; Olivier Adam; Marc Chemillier
DAFx-2013 - Maynooth
In this work, we introduced an original optical-based retrieval system dedicated to the music analysis of the marovany zither, a traditional instrument of Madagascar. From a humanistic perspective, our motivation for studying this particular instrument is its cultural importance due to its association with a possession ritual called tromba. The long-term goal of this work is to achieve a systematic classification of the marovany musical repertoire in this context of trance, and to classify the different recurrent musical patterns according to identifiable information. From an engineering perspective, we worked on the problem of competing signals in audio field recordings, e.g., from audience participation or percussion instruments. To overcome this problem, we recommended the use of a multichannel optical recording, putting forward technological qualities such as acquisition of independent signals corresponding to each string, high signal to noise ratio (high sensitivity to string displacement / low sensitivity to external sources), systematic inter-notes demarcation resulting from the finger-string contact. Optical signal characteristics greatly simplify the delicate task of automatic music transcription, especially when facing polyphonic music in noisy environment.