Deep Music Information Dynamics

Shlomo Dubnov

Music comprises of a set of complex simultaneous events organized in time. In this paper we introduce a novel framework that we call Deep Musical Information Dynamics, which combines two parallel streams - a low rate latent representation stream that is assumed to capture the dynamics of a thought process contrasted with a higher rate information dynamics derived from the musical data itself. Motivated by rate-distortion theories of human cognition we propose a framework for exploring possible relations between imaginary anticipations existing in the listener's mind and information dynamics of the musical surface itself. This model is demonstrated for the case of symbolic (MIDI) data, as accounting for acoustic surface would require many more layers to capture instrument properties and performance expressive inflections. The mathematical framework is based on variational encoding that first establishes a high rate representation of the musical observations, which is then reduced using a bit-allocation method into a parallel low rate data stream. The combined loss considered here includes both the information rate in terms of time evolution for each stream, and the fidelity of encoding measured in terms of mutual information between the high and low rate representations. In the simulations presented in the paper we are able to juxtapose aspects of latent/imaginary surprisal versus surprisal of the music surface in a manner that is quantifiable and computationally tractable. The set of computational tools is discussed in the paper, suggesting that a trade off between compression and prediction are an important factor in the analysis and design of time-based music generative models.

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