Mapping musical taste and ranking


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Strict Standards: Non-static method MagicWord::get() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /homepages/41/d451402188/htdocs/Tarang/includes/Parser.php on line 2152

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Strict Standards: Non-static method MagicWord::get() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /homepages/41/d451402188/htdocs/Tarang/includes/Parser.php on line 2152

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From Taranaa Tarang

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So...as I recall of, one fine evening, taking a stroll in a busy market, buying fruits, fresh vegetables etc. at Dadar, Mumbai. or was it Palika baazaar in New Delhi, or even a day of window shopping, with samosa, paani-puri snacking..right? Everyone must have experienced the mad rush, the never ending noise of cars/trucks horns, thumping your ear drums. In the midst of this chaos, you can sometimes find your mind playing tricks on you. It's trying hard to listen to the rhythmic patterns of train tracks, multiple foot steps on stairs. It's trying hard to focus on a melody that is probably hidden in birds sequential chirps, or even in the humming coming from telephone wires due to cool breeze passing over them....

And then you find that, your mind is suddenly attracted by aiye dil mujhe aisi jagah le chal....a voice filled with peace, yet powerful, Talat sahab, coming from far, some loudspeaker in a paan shop. or maybe it was jab dil hi toot gaya...Saigal sahab, coming from another direction. Finally mind settles on "eechak daandaa beechak daanaa..." golden chulbuli by Lata..

Ever wondered, why we like one's singing over others? Oh man...how could he/she do it! That's was superb!...kya gaayaa hai yaar.., we don't tire saying it. Day goes much easier with such moments.

It's my small attempt on understanding the connection between taste of individual mind Vs elements of gAyaki (singing). Let's consider, 5 performers a, b, c, d & e, singing same song. I have taken only few variables in this table, namely..sur, taal, diction, bhav, energy, control.

It can be as exhaustive as you can devote time to it, or as less as just one variable "feel". I have wrapped, laya, in taal; voice quality, tonal quality, range, imitation etc. in bhav; voice and breath control, smoothness in control. I've purposely skipped recording quality.

Pl. look at the table below, which has ratings.

Image:eval_data.jpg


All the selected variables have been measured by an individual for all 5 candidates/performers. For simplicity, a is selected as IDEAL/perfect candidate and rated maximum, and e as lowest.

Same table is shown here as a plot.

Image:perf_eval.jpg

Now imagine a situation, where additional variables are added, like if I don't wrap laya, imitation etc. and keep then separately. also, if there are more performers and some stand vey close to each other, and/or, a is good in one variable, but poor in another, b is opposite. Any judgement made, without proper modeling or mapping of musical taste will be prone to bias. Looking at the plot, it is difficult to rank them.

Shown below is a random selection of scores on these performers by 5 listeners/Judges.

How do we get there?

Image:ranking.jpg

In this example, I have chosen 5 judges, J1-J5, (it can be more). and their musical taste is mapped in terms of weights for these variables, first, as shown below. J1 gives equal preference to sur and taal, but weighing 3 times more than diction, bhav is twice than diction, but energy and control are only half weighted to diction. Whereas, J2's preferences are different and so are for J3-J5. Weighting factors are kept minimum to avoid confusion, but it can be expanded as a matrix too.

Another realistic scenario, where even the first table (rating data) is different between J1-J5.

Image:weights_scores.jpg

Once we have this minimum information, I have a small program, that helps me coming up with the scores. It's little bit of cybernetics with the help of matrix algebra, where the software finds the principal directions for the J1-J5 musical taste. Program projects the ratings along with the weights onto the principal directions and then program tries to find relative (euclidean space) distances of each performer from the IDEAL/perfect candidate. Based on the distances, ranking is achieved, after sorting.

You will see, that ranking of performers is different for J1-J5, due to difference in their taste. Finally, I have also proposed to use average score, if needed.

Advantage:

1. we understand, why one likes one rendition over other.

2. gives unbiased ranking.

3. gives relative distances in scores.

4. maps the improvement areas.

thanks for your patient reading,

pl. opine freely. I hope to discuss it further.

best regards,

shashi

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