In this study we compare the use of different music representations for retrieving alternative performances of the same musical piece, a task commonly referred to as version identification. Given the audio signal of a song, we compute descriptors representing its melody, bass line and harmonic progression using state-of-the-art algorithms. These descriptors are then employed to retrieve different versions of the same musical piece using a dynamic programming algorithm based on nonlinear time series analysis. First, we evaluate the accuracy obtained using individual descriptors, and then we examine whether performance can be improved by combining these music representations (i.e. descriptor fusion). Our results show that whilst harmony is the most reliable music representation for version identification, the melody and bass line representations also carry useful information for this task. Furthermore, we show that by combining these tonal representations we can increase version detection accuracy. Finally, we demonstrate how the proposed version identification method can be adapted for the task of query-by-humming. We propose a melody-based retrieval approach, and demonstrate how melody representations extracted from recordings of a cappella singing can be successfully used to retrieve the original song from a collection of polyphonic audio. The current limitations of the proposed approach are discussed in the context of version identification and query-by-humming, and possible solutions and future research directions are proposed.
J. Salamon, J. Serrà, and E. Gómez. Tonal representations for music retrieval: from version identification to query-by-humming. Int. Journal of Multimedia Information Retrieval, special issue on Hybrid Music Information Retrieval. In press.