Visualization of data from Alternative Measures website

Alternative Measures

Alternative Measures

My research is a website called Alternative Measures. The focus of the website’s design is to allow popular music scholars to collect, clean and use symbolic data about the songs they study. One of the challenges for popular music scholars is the scarcity of symbolic data describing popular music. Our website repurposes automated transcription algorithms to capture the symbolic data. We’ve also created new alignment algorithms to animate the transcriptions when the audio is played. We have tested our website by reviewing two academic papers, uploading the songs the authors analyzed and reflecting on how the site might be able improve the research process by automating the harmonic transcriptions. We have also used the website to help analyze the melodies of 1,500 popular songs to evaluate a widely held belief that “Melody is Dead” in popular music. We found empirical evidence that questions the validity of the claim. Most recently, we tested the automated melody transcription algorithm used in the site against “real world” transcriptions of the melodies of over 200 songs. We found that the algorithm’s accuracy scores were significantly lower when evaluated on our dataset than those used to evaluate it in a popular competition.

Headshot of Beach Clark

Beach Clark

Beach is interested in a wide range of topics in Music Technology but focuses mainly on computational musicology.  His longer-term goal is to create a resource that can be used by academics studying computational musicology.  Prior to pursuing his PhD at Georgia Tech, Beach served as VP of Data Science for the Georgia Aquarium, where he developed computational modeling, software, and website development skills as well as other business-related skills.  Beach also was co-creator of Tatvam, a web-based review analytics service used by several high-profile clients in the attractions and travel and leisure industries.



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