A hierarchical approach to automatic musical genre classification

Juan José Burred; Alexander Lerch
DAFx-2003 - London
A system for the automatic classification of audio signals according to audio category is presented. The signals are recognized as speech, background noise and one of 13 musical genres. A large number of audio features are evaluated for their suitability in such a classification task, including well-known physical and perceptual features, audio descriptors defined in the MPEG-7 standard, as well as new features proposed in this work. These are selected with regard to their ability to distinguish between a given set of audio types and to their robustness to noise and bandwidth changes. In contrast to previous systems, the feature selection and the classification process itself are carried out in a hierarchical way. This is motivated by the numerous advantages of such a tree-like structure, which include easy expansion capabilities, flexibility in the design of genre-dependent features and the ability to reduce the probability of costly errors. The resulting application is evaluated with respect to classification accuracy and computational costs.