Development of a method for automatic basso continuo playing

Masahiro Niitsuma, Masaki Matsubara, Masaki Oono, Hiroaki Saito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The purpose of this study is to develop an automatic basso continuo playing system. In order to find a musically appropriate sequence of chords, we propose the principle of "harmony cost", which is defined as the sum of two different costs: one is the "local cost" which indicates the unlikelihood of a certain chord allocation and the other is the "transition cost", which indicates the unlikelihood of a certain connection between two chords. Automatic basso continuo playing is realised by searching for the optimal chord sequence, which minimises the accumulated harmony cost. The proposed method is evaluated by three experiments. Each experiment verifies the effectiveness of the proposed method.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-451
Number of pages12
JournalInformation Processing and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 May


  • Baroque music
  • Basso continuo
  • Beam search
  • Computational musicology
  • Dynamic programming
  • Harmonisation
  • Music information retrieval

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Media Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences


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