I am learning about audio signals for analytical purposes. I came across beat histograms and spectrograms. I understand that a spectrogram is all about frequency and time but I am confused about beat histograms. What is the difference between the two and how can we express it analytically?


A beat histogram is a two dimensional chart of how often signals above a certain threshold occur in a segment of audio. The idea is that after plotting the number of occurrences of audio events at certain rates (in BPM) the greatest value on the plot indicates the most likely tempo for the music.

A beat histogram is an analytical tool for tempo extraction from music that has a detectable rhythm.

A spectrogram is a three dimensional plot of frequency and amplitude over time.

  • Thank you sir, can you please check this librosa.org/doc/latest/generated/… doc and explain if the onset strength graph is the one thing as a beat histogram? I am totally new to this field – developer101 May 2 at 4:58
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    @developer101 No, the onset strength plot at the bottom is not a beat histogram. The x axis of a beat histogram is tempo in BPM. The y axis is a count of beat events that correlate with each tempo on the x axis. The onset graph is time on the x axis and intensity on the y axis. I suggest doing a web search for “histogram” and read up on what a histogram is - that might help explain. – Todd Wilcox May 2 at 5:08

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