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BebopNet: Deep Neural Models for Personalized Jazz Improvisations
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Shunit Haviv, M.Sc. Thesis Seminar
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Wednesday, 11.11.2020, 12:00
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Zoom Lecture: https://technion.zoom.us/j/99327852951
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Advisor:  Prof. Ran El-Yaniv
A major bottleneck in the evaluation of music generation is that music appreciation is a highly subjective matter. When considering an average appreciation as an evaluation metric, user studies can be helpful. The challenge of generating personalized content, however, has been examined only rarely in the literature. In this paper, we address generation of personalized music and propose a novel pipeline for music generation that learns and optimizes user-specific musical taste. We focus on the task of symbol-based, monophonic, harmony-constrained jazz improvisations. Our personalization pipeline begins with BebopNet, a music language model trained on a corpus of jazz improvisations by Bebop giants. BebopNet is able to generate improvisations based on any given chord progression. We then assemble a personalized dataset, labeled by a specific user, and train a user-specific metric that reflects this user's unique musical taste. Finally, we employ a personalized variant of beam-search with BebopNet to optimize the generated jazz improvisations for that user. We present an extensive empirical study in which we apply this pipeline to extract individual models as implicitly defined by several human listeners. Our approach enables an objective examination of subjective personalized models whose performance is quantifiable. The results indicate that it is possible to model and optimize personal jazz preferences and offer a foundation for future research in personalized generation of art. We also briefly discuss opportunities, challenges, and questions that arise from our work, including issues related to creativity.
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