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Automatic evaluation of singing quality can be done with the help of a reference singing or the digital sheet music of the song. However, such a standard reference is not always available. In this article, we propose a framework to rank a large pool of singers according to their singing quality without any standard reference. We define musically motivated absolute measures based on pitch histogram, and relative measures based on inter-singer statistics to evaluate the quality of singing attributes such as intonation, and rhythm. The absolute measures evaluate the goodness of pitch histogram specific to a singer, while the relative measures use the similarity between singers in terms of pitch, rhythm, and timbre as an indicator of singing quality. With the relative measures, we formulate the concept of veracity or truth-finding for the ranking of singing quality. We successfully validate a self-organizing approach to rank-ordering a large pool of singers. The fusion of absolute and relative measures results in an average Spearman's rank correlation of 0.71 with human judgments in a 10-fold cross-validation experiment, which is close to the inter-judge correlation.
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