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Aurelien Antoine

School of Humanities and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts and Humanities)


AHRC-Funded 3D3 PhD Computer Music Researcher

'An Artificial Intelligence Approach to Timbre Perception and Musical Orchestration'

Researchers have investigated harnessing computers as a tool to aid in the composition of music for over 70 years. In major part, such research has focused on creating algorithms to work with pitches and rhythm, which has resulted in a selection of sophisticated systems. Although the musical possibilities of these systems is vast, they are not directly considering another important characteristic of sound. Timbre can be defined as all the sound attributes, except pitch, loudness and duration, which allow us to distinguish and recognize that two sounds are dissimilar. This feature plays an essential role in orchestration as it involves mixing instrumental properties to produce musical pieces. Within this thesis, we explore harnessing aspects of musical timbre for intelligent computer-aided orchestration systems. This project investigates the link between musical timbre, auditory perception and psychoacoustics for orchestral sounds. It resulted in choosing to use verbal descriptors of timbral qualities to represent auditory perception of orchestral sounds. Therefore, this research reports on the developments of methods and tools designed to automatically retrieve and identify perceptual qualities of timbre within orchestral sounds, using specific musical acoustic features and artificial intelligence algorithms. Different perceptual experiments have been conducted to evaluate the correlation between selected acoustics cues and humans’ perception. Results of these evaluations confirmed the potential and suitability of the presented approaches. Finally, these developments have helped to design a perceptually-orientated computer-aided orchestration system harnessing aspects of artificial intelligence.


MRes Computer Music, Plymouth University, UK

LP Techniques et Activités de l'Image et du Son (Sound Engineering Degree), University of Angoulême, France

DUT Informatique (Computer Science Degree), University of Reims Champagne-Ardenne, France

Professional membership

Acoustical Society of America
Audio Engineering Society

Teaching interests

 Completed 'Graduate Teaching Associates' course in July 2015

 MUS509 - Independent Study for Musicians: Tutor 

Research interests

Computer Music; Computer-Aided Composition/Orchestration; Musical Timbre; Intelligent Systems; Generative Systems

- Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2017). "A Perceptually Orientated Approach for Automatic Classification of Timbre Content of Orchestral Excerpts". The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 141(5):3723–3723.

- Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2017). "Musical Acoustics, Timbre, and Computer–Aided Orchestration Challenges". Proceedings of the 2017 International Symposium on Musical Acoustics (ISMA). Montréal, Canada. 

- Antoine, A., Williams, D. and Miranda, E. R. (2016). "Towards a Timbre Classification System for Musical Excerpts”, Proceedings of 2nd AES Workshop on Intelligent Music Production (WIMP2). London, UK

- Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2016). “A User-Centric Algorithmic Composition System”. Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on New Music Concepts (ICNMC). Treviso, Italy.

- Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2015). "Towards Intelligent Orchestration Systems", Proceedings of 11th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR): Music, Mind, and Embodiment. Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK.

- Miranda, E. R., Kirke, A., Braund, E., & Antoine, A. (2017). “On Unconventional Computing for Sound and Music.” In Guide to Unconventional Computing for Music, pp. 23-61. Springer International Publishing.

- Kirke, A., Shadbolt, P., Neville, A., Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. (2014). “Q-Muse: A Quantum Computer Music System Designed For A Performance For Orchestra, Electronics And Live Internet-Connected Photonic Quantum Computer”, Proceedings of 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM14) . Berlin, Germany.

- Schramm, R., de Souza Nunes, H., Antoine, A. and Miranda, E. R. (2014). "A Generative System for the Creation of New Songs from Portuguese Prosody", Proceedings of 9th Conference on Interdisciplinary Musicology (CIM14). Berlin, Germany.