Music information retrieval (MIR) methods offer interesting possibilities for automatically identifying time points in music recordings that relate to specific brain responses. However, how the acoustical features and the novelty of the music structure affect the brain response is not yet clear. In the present study, we tested a new method for automatically identifying time points of brain responses based on MIR analysis. We utilized an existing database including brain recordings of 48 healthy listeners measured with electroencephalography (EEG) and magnetoencephalography (MEG). While we succeeded in capturing brain responses related to acoustical changes in the modern tango piece Adios Nonino
, we obtained less reliable brain responses with a metal rock piece and a modern symphony orchestra musical composition. However, brain responses might also relate to the novelty of the music structure. Hence, we added a manual musicological analysis of novelty in the musical structure to the computational acoustic analysis, obtaining strong brain responses even to the rock and modern pieces. Although no standardized method yet exists, these preliminary results suggest that analysis of novelty in music is an important aid to MIR analysis for investigating brain responses to realistic music.
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