Modelling Rhythm Perception by Continuous Time-Frequency Analysis
The use of linear phase Gabor transform wavelets is demonstrated as a robust analysis technique capable of making explicit many elements of human rhythm perception behaviour. Transforms over a continuous time-frequency plane (the scalogram) spanning rhythmic frequencies (0.1 to 100Hz) capture the multiple periodicities implied by beats at different temporal relationships. Wavelets represent well the transient nature of these rhythmic frequencies in performed music, in particular those implied by agogic accent, and at longer time-scales, by rubato. The use of the scalogram phase information provides a new approach to the analysis of rhythm. Measures of phase congruence over a range of frequencies are shown to be useful in highlighting transient rhythms and temporal accents. The performance of the wavelet transform is demonstrated on examples of performed monophonic percussive rhythms possessing intensity accents and rubato. The transform results indicate the location of such accents and from these, the inducement of phrase structures.
Leigh M. Smith
Proceedings of the 1996 International Computer Music Conference, Hong Kong, pages 392-5