[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: speech/music characteristics


One fundamental difference between some kinds of music, particularly dance
 music, and some
kinds of speech, particularly continuous normal speech, is rhythm. Typically
 music has  (1)
a much higher degree of periodicity and (2) the range of periods is much wider.

Although (1) is true in most cases, it is not always. For example, metrical
 verse, e.g. rap,
is music-like in its metrical organisation. Plainchant (obviously) and other
musics are speech like in their metrical organisation. So, music and speech
 rhythms lie on a
continuum, rather than being two discreet categories.

(2) is a consequence of the nature of speech and music production. In speech
 there are three
important metrical levels, the syllable (mora in Japanese), the stress foot (in
languages such as English, but not French) and the intonation phrase, each of
 which can be
identified with simple motor rhythms, the jaw cycle, whole body motions and
 respiration. In
music there are less (different) motor constraints, e.g. a pianist has ten

In the case of metrical verse or metrical music, a well-defined beat (motor) is
So, beat induction could easily be used to discriminate a music and speech
 signal, but again
it would depend on the style of music or speech.


Neil Todd

Todd, N.P.McAngus, Lee, C.S. and O'Boyle, D.J. (1998) A sensory-motor theory of
 rhythm, time
perception and beat induction. J. New Music Research.

Todd, N.P.McAngus and Lee, C.S. (to appear) A sensory-motor theory of speech
Implications for learning, organisation and recognition. To appear in W.
 Ainsworth and S.
Greenberg (Eds).  Listening to Speech. OUP.

>Date:          Thu, 26 Mar 1998 11:30:08 +0000
>Reply-to:      Sue Johnson <sej28@ENG.CAM.AC.UK>
>From:          Sue Johnson <sej28@ENG.CAM.AC.UK>
>Subject:       speech/music characteristics
>X-To:          auditory@vm1.mcgill.ca
>To:            Multiple recipients of list AUDITORY <AUDITORY@VM1.MCGILL.CA>
>I'm working in speech recognition, and am trying to be able to distinguish
>between speech and non-speech (especially music) sounds in an audio track.
>I wondered if anyone had any ideas (for example from a speech/music
>perception point of view) of the things that characterise music and
>speech. For example, is the periodicity important, or is it to do with
>How do we know when something is music and something is just noise?
>How does the brain recognise music, how can you recognise both music and
>speech if they are played at the same time..
>If anyone has any ideas, or knows of any publications in this area, I'd be
>really interested..
>thanks alot
>Sue Johnson (sej28@eng.cam.ac.uk)
> ------------------------------------------------------------------|
>| email  sej28@eng.cam.ac.uk                                       |
>| snail  6 Dalegarth, Hurst Park Avenue, Cambridge, CB4 2AG        |
>|        (01223) 574087  Lab: (01223) (3)32754                     |
>| w/ends 28 Basset Way, Kidlington, OXON, OX5 2HJ (01865) 374 925  |
>| WWW      http://www2.eng.cam.ac.uk/~sej28/home.html              |