Innovate for Businesses
Stage of Innovation:
We have a working prototype
Music is an art found in every known culture, past, and present, varying widely through times and places. Many cultures have their own traditional or folk music that is widely known. In India, ghazals, qawwali, bhajans, garba, doha and sufi is very popular. Every person has experienced music in one form or another, starting from mother’s lullaby to monody.
A songwriter often begins with an idea for a melody and develops chords and accompaniment patterns to turn that melody into a song. This process is an art traditionally reserved for musicians with knowledge of musical structure and harmony. Musicians often use instruments to experiment with melodies and chords or to find chords to accompany a melody. On the other hand, individuals without any knowledge of chords and harmony are generally unable to develop or experiment with musical ideas. And although songwriting is a craft typically restricted to experienced musicians, a much larger set of people enjoy music and recreational singing. Particularly considering the current trend toward creation and sharing of audio and video media online, this larger group might be inclined to write music. In fact, they might enjoy writing music—even if it didn’t require years of instrumental and theoretical training and practice.
The goal of this work is to enable a creative but musically untrained individual to get a taste of songwriting and music creation. When musician selects a chord for a melody, there is a probability that some other chord can accompany that piece. There are many chords go right with that piece. But there is no guarantee that all chosen chords sound pleasant with the previously selected chords. Some chords sounds horrible when they played in sequence. With help of very basic music theory, we can get a small set of chords in which all chords sound pleasant in any sequence. Also, it’s been observed that music becomes more pleasing when few chords in different and interesting patterns are used. These few chords can get the listener’s attention easily.
We can classify the instruments depending on whether they can play a musical note or not. Several instruments such as drums, dhol or tabla are not meant to produce a note but used to give a rhythm to the melody. They basically repeat some pattern according to tempo. But there is many instruments that can play notes. In addition, many of them can play more than one note at a time. For example, keyboard, guitar and piano that are called polyphonic instruments. Instruments that can play one single note at a time is called monophonic instrument—
such as flute and saxophone. On the polyphonic instrument, you can play both, the chords and arpeggio, but on monophonic, you can play arpeggio that plays a single note at a time. So, with help of chord sequence, we can create different arpeggio patterns that can be played in addition with the chords in the background music and accompany the melody.
We introduce MusicManiac, a system that automatically chooses chords to accompany a vocal melody. A user with no experience in music can create a song just by singing into a microphone and can experiment with chord patterns without any knowledge of music, using interactions designed to be intuitive to non-musicians.
The system takes an audio file as an input. This input file contains a monophonic voice or instrument, and generates musical accompaniment to match a singer’s voice. Just choose a musical style, sing into your computer’s microphone, and MusicManiac will create music for you. You can also share your songs with your friends and family members, post your songs online and create your own music videos.
Our methodology is divided into four parts.
1. Melody extraction is the task of automatically estimating the fundamental frequency corresponding to the pitch of the predominant melodic line of a piece of monophonic or polyphonic music. It is also known as Audio Melody Extraction, Predominant Melody Extraction, Predominant Melody Estimation and Predominant Fundamental Frequency (F0) Estimation. It’s not source separation. Melody extraction won’t separate the lead voice from a recording, but it is estimating when the melody is present and when it is not and estimating the correct pitch of the melody when it is present.
2. Generating accompaniment chord is choosing the best chord from a set of relative chords for the given key signature for the span of current melody being played. Relative chords are chords which are in harmony with the key note. Relative chords are most frequently played chords for accompanying melody in the background based on a key note. The reason of it always sounds in harmony is that the notes being played in chords are from the key signature in which melody is written.
3. Converting chord sequence to Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) file. After predicting the companion chords, playing them on any instrument or musical synthesizer is not straightforward. For playing on synthesizer or an instrument we must convert chords into a file which the synthesizer or the instrument can understand and play. MIDI is a file format which is used between electronic musical instruments, computers and other devices to communicate. MIDI format contains instruction for which keys to play, velocity, pitch, control signals, a controller for volume and more.
4. Composing generated MIDI files. Playing a generated chord sequence file in a musical synthesizer with a proper instrument, which sounds good is as equally important as generating correct companion chords. Without a good music system, we cannot judge if the companion chords sound good or not with the melody. The sound quality of any instrument or hardware synthesizer is no doubt natural and good but when we produce any sound on a software synthesizer, we found it a bit artificial. Also, it has more latency as it depends on a computer processor. Software synthesizer runs on a general purpose computer with a sound card. So, sound that produced by that software synthesizer also depends on a quality of sound card of the computer. Software synthesizer uses a mathematical algorithm that directly emulates the electric component and circuitry of the original hardware synthesizer.
Will MusicManiac replace the craft of songwriting for songwriters? Never. Can it be a highly useful “intelligent scratchpad” for exploring new melodies and ideas? Absolutely!
If you’re a songwriter, you’ve probably had the experience of coming up with a melody and finding the nearest object with a “record” button on it just to get your idea down. Imagine that first quick experience also letting you explore chord progressions, styles and even basic arrangement ideas. Then, of course, you will work with other tools, other people, your instruments, and your own musical intuition to create a song. But MusicManiac can be a great tool that lets you quickly explore new ideas in places where you couldn’t before while you are on the go. And MusicManiac works great with instrumental input too! Of course, MusicManiac’s ideas might not be exactly what you want for your song. It’s music after all, and there’s no single right answer. So our tool not only comes up with music for your song but puts you in the driver’s seat by letting you customize the chords and arrangement for your song, even if you've never heard of “chords” before. Move the “happy” and “jazzy” sliders around to get the chords you want. Lock the chords you like and let MusicManiac change the ones you don’t. Set up your own custom band. Make it your song!