Midland Branch Meeting

Institute of Acoustics Midlands Branch Evening Meeting Tuesday 7 May 2019 6PM for an 630PM Start Room MP388, Birmingham City University Millennium Point, Curzon Street Birmingham B4 7XG COMPUTATIONAL ANALYSIS OF STYLE IN IRISH FLUTE PLAYING Islah Ali-MacLachlan, Birmingham City University

        Institute of Acoustics

Midlands Branch Evening Meeting


Tuesday 7 May 2019 6PM for an 630PM Start


Room MP388, Birmingham City University

Millennium Point, Curzon Street

Birmingham B4 7XG


Computational analysis of style in irish flute playing

Islah Ali-MacLachlan, Birmingham City University


The wooden flute is a common melodic instrument used in Irish traditional music (ITM).  A player's style is a personal interpretation of a traditional melody reflecting technical skill, education, heritage and influences. 
This presentation gives an overview of the development of automated analysis tools for stylistic traits in ITM flute performances. This is achieved through specialised computational methods capable of note onset detection, ornament detection and player recognition. The use of computational analysis in the definition of stylistic differences between players is intended to offer objective measurements for ethnomusicology research and provide educative value for practitioners. The player recognition system is capable of identifying a single player from a total of six with an accuracy of 90%. This demonstrates the worth of the proposed systems, highlighting the importance of style-specific training of models and confirming the need for historical and musicological domain knowledge. The studies contained in this presentation will explore the use of a number of machine learning algorithms and will examine the use of different types of data in classification problems. The techniques can be applied to a wide variety of situations where identification and classification of sound sources is required. 
Background: Islah is a Senior Lecturer in Audio Engineering and Acoustics at Birmingham City University, where he has been a member of the academic staff team since 2004. He originally studied industrial design, working in the hi-fi industry and general consultancy before embarking on an academic career in 1997, working at Glasgow School of Art/Glasgow University and Strathclyde University. His research focuses on computational ethnomusicology and signal analysis. He is also an active sound engineer and musician. Islah is a fellow of the Higher Education Academy and chair of the international workshop on folk Music Analysis 2019.  

Attendance is free, no need to book, everyone welcome.  CPD certificates will be provided.  If you have any queries, please contact fiona.rogerson@arup.com.


As is traditional for IOA Midlands Branch meetings those attending are cordially invited for a meal at a local Indian restaurant after the meeting. Please let Fiona know if you would like to come, so we can book a table.



Millennium Point is a ten minute walk from Birmingham Moor St. or 15 minutes from Birmingham New Street. Directions for getting to Millennium Point can be found here: https://www.bcu.ac.uk/about-us/maps-and-campuses/city-centre-campus/map-and-directions.  Paid parking is available adjacent to the site. https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/directory_record/6674/millennium_point_multi-storey_car_park

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Disclaimer: Any views or opinions expressed on any matters by the presenters or participants during or in connection with this presentation are solely the views of the authors of the respective comments and/or opinions and must not be taken to be the views of IOA or any other organisation. IOA makes no representations, warranties or assurances concerning any information provided in these presentations and accepts no responsibility for the content and/or accuracy.

07 May 2019   through   9:00 PM
Room MP388
Birmingham City University
Millenium Point, Curzon Street
Birmingham, B4 7XG

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