On the Use of Automatic Onset Detection for the Analysis of Maracatu de Baque Solto

João Fonseca, Magdalena Fuentes, Filippo Bonini Baraldi, Matthew Edward Price Davies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In this work we investigate the use of automatic onset detection techniques to support the ethnomusicological analysis of microtiming in Maracatu de
Baque Solto. In order to lay the foundation for a robust and meaningful analysis
of Maracatu in terms of its temporal and rhythmic structure, we require extremely precise annotations of note onset positions. However, the nature of Maracatu performance, with percussionists in very close proximity to one another and playing very loud and at high tempo, makes manual annotation extremely challenging. To this end, we orient our work towards minimising the number of corrections necessary by a human annotator, and thus we incorporate explicit knowledge of Maracatu into a computational approach for onset detection. In our evaluation, we explore the divergence between the use of an “off the shelf” state-of-the-art onset detection technique which has been trained to generalise across a wide variety of musical material, with a bespoke approach which specifically targets the instrumentation in Maracatu. We then explore the impact of this approach when visualising microtiming profiles.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives on Music, Sound and Musicology
Subtitle of host publicationResearch, Education and Practice
EditorsLuísa Correia Castilho , Rui Dias , José Francisco Pinho
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-78451-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-78450-8, 978-3-030-78453-9
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameCurrent Research in Systematic Musicology

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