Local Periodicity-Based Beat Tracking for Expressive Classical Piano Music

Ching Yu Chiu, Meinard Muller, Matthew E.P. Davies, Alvin Wen Yu Su, Yi Hsuan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


To model the periodicity of beats, state-of-the-art beat tracking systems use 'post-processing trackers' (PPTs) that rely on several empirically determined global assumptions for tempo transition, which work well for music with a steady tempo. For expressive classical music, however, these assumptions can be too rigid. With two large datasets of Western classical piano music, namely the Aligned Scores and Performances (ASAP) dataset and a dataset of Chopin's Mazurkas (Maz-5), we report on experiments showing the failure of existing PPTs to cope with local tempo changes, thus calling for new methods. In this paper, we propose a new local periodicity-based PPT, called predominant local pulse-based dynamic programming (PLPDP) tracking, that allows for more flexible tempo transitions. Specifically, the new PPT incorporates a method called 'predominant local pulses' (PLP) in combination with a dynamic programming (DP) component to jointly consider the locally detected periodicity and beat activation strength at each time instant. Accordingly, PLPDP accounts for the local periodicity, rather than relying on a global tempo assumption. Compared to existing PPTs, PLPDP particularly enhances the recall values at the cost of a lower precision, resulting in an overall improvement of F1-score for beat tracking in ASAP (from 0.473 to 0.493) and Maz-5 (from 0.595 to 0.838).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2824-2835
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing
Publication statusPublished - 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Computational Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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