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A Computationally Efficient Method for Polyphonic Pitch Estimation


This paper presents a computationally efficient method for polyphonic pitch estimation. The method employs the Fast Resonator Time-Frequency Image (RTFI) as the basic time-frequency analysis tool. The approach is composed of two main stages. First, a preliminary pitch estimation is obtained by means of a simple peak-picking procedure in the pitch energy spectrum. Such spectrum is calculated from the original RTFI energy spectrum according to harmonic grouping principles. Then the incorrect estimations are removed according to spectral irregularity and knowledge of the harmonic structures of the music notes played on commonly used music instruments. The new approach is compared with a variety of other frame-based polyphonic pitch estimation methods, and results demonstrate the high performance and computational efficiency of the approach.

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Correspondence to Joshua D. Reiss.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License ( ), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Zhou, R., Reiss, J.D., Mattavelli, M. et al. A Computationally Efficient Method for Polyphonic Pitch Estimation. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2009, 729494 (2009).

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  • Energy Spectrum
  • Quantum Information
  • Computational Efficiency
  • Main Stage
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