Intonation is a fundamental music concept that has a special relevance in Indian art music. It is characteristic of a raga and key to the musical expression of the artist. In this paper, we first assess raga intonation qualitatively by analysing varas, a particular form of Carnatic music compositions. We then approach the task of automatically obtaining a compact representation of the intonation of a recording from its pitch track. We propose two approaches based on the parametrization of pitch-value distributions: performance pitch histograms, and context-based svara distributions obtained by categorizing pitch contours based on the melodic context. We evaluate both approaches on a large Carnatic music collection and discuss their merits and limitations. We finally go through different kinds of contextual information that can be obtained to further improve the two approaches.
G. K. Koduri, V. Ishwar, J. Serrà, and X. Serra. Intonation analysis of ragas in Carnatic music. Journal of New Music Research, Special Issue on Computational Approaches to the Art Music Traditions of India and Turkey 43(1): 72-93. Mar 2014.