This paper explores the extraction of melodic pitch contour from the polyphonic soundtrack of a song. The motivation for this work lies in the need for automatic tools for the melody-based indexing of the database in a music retrieval system. The melody is assumed to be carried by the singer's voice which is accompanied by a mainly percussive instrumental music background. This scenario is typical of a large class of Indian movie songs. The challenges raised by this application are presented. A pitch detection method based on a perception model is shown to be a promising approach to the tracking of voice pitch in the presence of strong percussive background.
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