Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Mission complete

Thoughts collected, ideas collated, diagrams drawn, paper written.

It feels pretty good to look back on the paper I've produced on this music analysis project. Even if the paper doesn't get accepted for the conference I am aiming it for (ICMC - computer music conference) then I still have a 4 page paper which describes what work I have managed to do on this project in the last few months. It has pretty pictures and music notation and everything
... :)

At first I wasn't that motivated to get this music analysis project working properly. It didn't quite fit in with the 'music creativity' research I was really wanting to read about. Also, I am a bit nervous about the whole concept of presenting a paper on this at ICMC, which is a big conference for me. I've only been looking into this for a few months, and not exactly a solid few months at that, so to present that work to a bunch of academics who really know their stuff... quite a daunting experience. So if I didn't finish the paper in time, then - oh well!

One deadline extension later, though, and I suddenly had a couple of weeks more than I thought to really get my project working and to understand what I was bringing to this area of research. Having put my ideas onto how to analyse these Bach fugues and separate them out into their different voices, I got something working in Matlab. Didn't work 100%, but to see something kinda sorta working was a massive incentive to carry on and refine the work - to the point where I had to define for myself a point at which I would stop trying to make more and more improvements and instead knuckle down to writing the work up.

The researcher's nightmare of finding some related papers quite late on in the project work happened to me here. This was a real blow to me at first, as I thought: 'oh no, all my beautiful ideas have been done before'! But I started noticing aspects of my work that were really different to the work already done. I guess it was at this point that I realised that even though I'd only been tackling this fugue analysis problem for a few months, I still had valid ideas to bring to this problem and I had proposed a solution that had significant aspects to it, which hadn't been done before. At least I hope they haven't been done before... I've followed up the research trail a little bit more and haven't found anything yet...

So now what happens? Well I have now got a four-page paper under my belt; even if it doesn't get accepted for ICMC then I think I will try and get it published somewhere else (taking any review comments into consideration) as I think I've managed to get some good results out of this work, and I want to get it into the academic domain somehow. Let's see what ICMC say anyway, and go from there.

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