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Searching for musical features using natural language queries: the C@merata evaluations at MediaEval

Sutcliffe, Richard and Hovy, Eduard and Collins, Tom and Wan, Stephen and Crawford, Tim and Root, Deane L (2019) 'Searching for musical features using natural language queries: the C@merata evaluations at MediaEval.' Language Resources and Evaluation, 53 (1). 87 - 140. ISSN 0010-4817

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Musicological texts about classical music frequently include detailed technical discussions concerning the works being analysed. These references can be specific (e.g. C sharp in the treble clef) or general (fugal passage, Thor’s Hammer). Experts can usually identify the features in question in music scores but a means of performing this task automatically could be very useful for experts and beginners alike. Following work on textual question answering over many years as co-organisers of the QA tasks at the Cross Language Evaluation Forum, we decided in 2013 to propose a new type of task where the input would be a natural language phrase, together with a music score in MusicXML, and the required output would be one or more matching passages in the score. We report here on 3 years of the C@merata task at MediaEval. We describe the design of the task, the evaluation methods we devised for it, the approaches adopted by participant systems and the results obtained. Finally, we assess the progress which has been made in aligning natural language text with music and map out the main steps for the future. The novel aspects of this work are: (1) the task itself, linking musical references to actual music scores, (2) the evaluation methods we devised, based on modified versions of precision and recall, applied to demarcated musical passages, and (3) the progress which has been made in analysing and interpreting detailed technical references to music within texts.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health > Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Oct 2019 10:14
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2019 11:15

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