Domain Adversarial Training on Conditional Variational Auto-Encoder for Controllable Music Generation

Jingwei Zhao, Gus Xia, Ye Wang

The variational auto-encoder has become a leading framework for symbolic music generation, and a popular research direction is to study how to effectively control the generation process. A straightforward way is to control a model using different conditions during inference. However, in music practice, conditions are usually sequential (rather than simple categorical labels), involving rich information that overlaps with the learned representation. Consequently, the decoder gets confused about whether to "listen to" the latent representation or the condition, and sometimes just ignores the condition. To solve this problem, we leverage domain adversarial training to disentangle the representation from condition cues for better control. Specifically, we propose a condition corruption objective that uses the representation to denoise a corrupted condition. Minimized by a discriminator and maximized by the VAE encoder, this objective adversarially induces a condition-invariant representation. In this paper, we focus on the task of melody harmonization to illustrate our idea, while our methodology can be generalized to other controllable generative tasks. Demos and experiments show that our methodology facilitates not only condition-invariant representation learning but also higher-quality controllability compared to baselines.

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