Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Ideas and innovations in Indian classical music
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stmdhr
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#1 Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 05 Mar 2018, 07:01

Hi Rasikas,

We are a household team of software engineers & music enthusiasts. In our naivety, we started creating a desktop application that can play carnatic music with gamaka pitch variations, from sarigama notations. We hope to get advice & learn from the community on this project.

We understand that this is a tall order - but our primary motivation is discovery & learning - we are not attempting to create a gamaka notation system. We realize that there have been several earlier efforts to notate Gamakas in carnatic music, particularly the fantastic work from AMS Easy Methods & Gaayaka Software. To be honest, we were not fully aware of these efforts until after starting our project. We also lacked the necessary pre-knowledge to fully understand these earlier efforts. We look at our work as inspired extensions of these earlier works, and not as a negation of these previous works. We are also very inspired by musescore, the staff notation program for western music - that has a strict formal system to notate almost everything.

Please visit the project's home page at: http://gamidi.org .
The application (in alpha release) can also be download from there.

We are eagerly looking forward to general advise, criticism, feedback & discussions. Here are some questions to get us started.
1. Other than AMS Easy Methods & Gaayaka Software, can you please share any other efforts to formalize a gamaka notation system?
2. What will be a good place to learn about "raaga specific gamakas"? We are listening to bits of music from particular raagas here & there but not making any progress.
3. We understand we may be chasing a mirage, but what is your general opinion on strictly defining all possible gamakas?

We have several other questions - but they have to wait for now.
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stmdhr
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#2 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 05 Mar 2018, 07:04

Here is a quick demo of the application.

https://youtu.be/Roc3bkHyaEU
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vasanthakokilam
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#3 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by vasanthakokilam » 05 Mar 2018, 07:36

Good effort indeed, especially considering you are at it only for a couple of months. When you were composing each swara with gamaka I had my doubts if the curvatures are correct but it sounded much better when played together. The avarohanam P M G R S sequence sounded better than others.

I understand the challenges involved in getting it right. As with many things, it is super hard to construct but once constructed it is a lot easier to verify if it is correct. Good luck and best wishes for continued improvement.

AMS method is the best bet for your effort in my opinion. Stating the obvious, it is not coming up with meaningful ( or otherwise ) symbols but knowing how many varieties and variations exist in current day practice of each swara and their surrounding context is the most important thing. All the best.
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stmdhr
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#4 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 05 Mar 2018, 09:43

@vasanthakokilam
Thank you very much for the kind words. The curves for the demo came from an audio recording and we were perhaps not playing them correctly. Hopefully, in the next few days, we can come up with a better demo.

Also thank you for the AMS direction. We think the AMS effort is fantastic work. Unfortunately, we are unable to correctly gather the pitch-curve-data from the AMS audio samples accurately. There is a background noise and variations in higher modes - so, our mappings are not sounding nice.

We are currently using audacity spectrum tools to identify the pitch curves in a sample. (We also have started looking at the Gamaka app mentioned in the other thread). We are having better luck with instrumental audio samples - would love to know if AMS samples are available in instrumental form somewhere.

We are in total agreement about not focusing on the gamaka symbols - rose is a rose. We would like to eventually show 'presets' representing the swara-gamaka-raaga(-duration?-volume?) context. We are not sure how best to do it yet.
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vasanthakokilam
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#5 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by vasanthakokilam » 07 Mar 2018, 03:55

Please contact Akellaji at [email protected]
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stmdhr
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#6 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 19 Mar 2018, 08:41

We have made some progress in the past two weeks - not as much as we hoped for, but some incremental progress.

Key changes: Instead of selecting the gamaka before entering the swara, we are enabling the user to select the gamaka after entering the swara. This allows us to suggest popular gamakas for that particular swara & that particular raaga. There were a lot of other technical updates, but not many changes to the actual gamaka/raaga data - hope to make more progress on that front in the following weeks.


Here is a demo of the new version (v2018.3.18): https://youtu.be/7KbvlTEIzQo

Here is the release notes:
# 2018.3.18-alpha
- Shit & Select
- Select all
- Editable raagas
- Post swara edit
- Gamaka Descriptions & Report
- Gamaka shapes as SVG
- Suggested Gamakas

# 2018.3.3-alpha
- Grid based swara text area
- Raaga definitions
- Keyboard events (arrows, note input)
- Copy & Paste
- Song & Gamaka File formats
- Smooth bezier interpolation
- Synchronized play & pause
- Gamaka shapes in UI

Like we said earlier, we are eager for any feedback & guidance. In particular, if you can share any instrumental samples of raaga expositions with gamakas, that will be very helpful. Or if you can help with mathematically defining gamakas, that will be great as well.
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stmdhr
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#7 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 19 Mar 2018, 08:42

@vasanthakokilam
Thank you very much for Akellaji's email. We have contacted him - hope to make a lot of progress with his guidance.
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stmdhr
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#8 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 19 Mar 2018, 08:44

Here is the currently supported list of gamakas in the project: https://thodelu.bitbucket.io/gamidi/gamaka-report.html
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stmdhr
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#9 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 03 Apr 2018, 06:59

Quick bi-weekly update on our progress:
In the past two weeks, we reviewed a few more recordings & tried to digitize a few more gamakas. We are also in touch with Sri Akellaji & others to review a varnam created using these gamakas. Hoping to receive valuable feedback and keep making incremental improvements.

# Key changes in 2018.4.1-alpha
- Gamaka categories
- Background drone
- Lead play sequencer & cues
- Music: Shankarabharanam varnam
- Bugfix: Multi channel race condition
- Bugfix: Active swara cell rendering fix
- Bugfix: Swara area scrolling

Here is the latest demo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vj0i3HuVsUo

.
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stmdhr
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#10 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by stmdhr » 01 May 2018, 09:21

Quick update on our progress:
In the past few weeks, we tried to upgrade our application to latest Java 9 libraries, but ran into trouble with our packaging systems. We lost more than a week trying to recover; so we decided to scale down the upgrade to Java 8.45. We also made the following small enhancements.

- Close warning
- Navigation improvements
- Soundbank enhancements
- Gamaka scaling

Unfortunately, we are making very slow progress in the musical review of the gamakas. This is where we are eager for feedback from the rasikas community. Here is the latest demo. Like before, we analyzed the pitch variations from a few instrumental renditions and coded them into the software.

Mohana Varnam:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MVufJuJLhU
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SrinathK
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#11 Re: Music Player - with gamakas & pitch variations

Post by SrinathK » 10 May 2018, 17:43

If your curves can capture the exact pitch variation, both the continuous and discontinuous bits, then with nothing more than a pitch curve, you can make any gamaka possible.
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