TitleExtracting semantic information from on-line art music discussion forums
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsSordo M, Serrà J, Koduri GK, Serra X
Conference NameCompMusic Workshop
Conference LocationIstanbul, Turkey
Date Published12/07/2012

Understanding the meaning of music implies (also) understanding how listeners perceive music, how they consume it or enjoy it, and more interestingly, how they share their tastes among other listeners. The interaction and contribution of many users leads to the emergence of social communities. These interactions generate digital content that is very valuable for the study of many topics, in our case for the study of music. In this paper we propose a method for extracting semantic information from online music discussion forums. The interactions are inferred from the co-occurrence of concepts in forum posts, using network analysis as a way to model these interactions. The method starts by defining a dictionary of common music terms in an art music tradition. Then, it creates a complex network representation of the online forum by matching such dictionary against the forum posts. Once the complex network is built, we can study different network measures, including node relevance, node co-occurrence and term relations via semantically connecting words. Moreover, we can detect communities of concepts inside the forum posts. The rationale is that some music terms are more related to each other than to other terms. All in all, this methodology allows us to obtain meaningful information from the forum's discussions. We test our method with the Carnatic music forum Rasikas.org, showing that we can learn the instrument played by a performer with high accuracy, discover the confusion between two raagas with different naming conventions, or infer semantic relationships regarding lineage or musical influence. Our aim is to better understand the relation between different art music concepts, and to assess, both quantitatively and qualitatively, whether a dedicated music forum of more expert listeners is a good resource for extracting culture-specific music knowledge.