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AI Song Recogniser
Dee dah DUM dee dah dee dah, dee dah DUM DUM DUM DEE DUM
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Artificial Intelligence has reached the point where computers can recognise (some) speech. It is probably possible to create a computer which can recognise hummed songs.

Imagine this: You walk into a record store. You say to the clerk, "I heard this song on the radio. I don't know the title, the artist, or any of the words." The clerk says, "Come over to this terminal and hum a few measures." You hum the song you heard. The computer analyses your off-key humming, figures out which notes you were attempting to hit, calculates the duration of each note, and then compares that song fragment to a database of every song ever recorded by anybody anywhere. In a few seconds, it pops out a list of likely candidates. The clerk plays a sample of each of the songs on the list, and within the first five you exclaim, "Yes! That's it! That's the song!" You purchase the CD the song is on, and go home happy.

ravenswood, Mar 28 2001

New Zealand Digital Library http://nzdl2.cs.wai...x&a=page&p=coltitle
Baked at the University of Waikato, New Zealand. Many other amazingly nifty music library techniques as well. [wiml]

MPEG-7 objectives http://www.tnt.uni-...ic/mpeg7/w2460.html
Plan to index all audio and video by tune, lyrics, voice characteristics and much more. [pottedstu]

Baked http://news.bbc.co....1681000/1681395.stm

Search for a notation index http://www.af.lu.se...gwall/notation.html
What Gordon Comstock describes: Denys Parsons: The Directory of Tunes and Musical Themes, Spencer Brown, 1975; sadly now out of print. [pottedstu]

TuneServer http://wwwipd.ira.uka.de/tuneserver/
Not functioning at present, but should let you upload a .WAV file which they'll check against a database. [pottedstu]

Search By Humming http://audio.ecs.soton.ac.uk/sbh/
Performs search based on tune described as U/D/R (up pitch, down pitch, repeat pitch). [pottedstu]

Music retrieval systems http://www.media.mi...i/research/mir.html
Index of systems such as the above. [pottedstu]

Music Retrieval by Similarity http://www.fxpal.co...te/musicr/doc0.html
Rmutt was going to refrain from blatant self-promotion, but the survey above missed his contribution to the field... [rmutt]

Tuneserver (rtypke's link) http://name-this-tune.com
Alas, Tuneserver appears to be dead once again. [bristolz]

       No, that's Journey--'When the lights go down in the city..."

thumbwax, Mar 28 2001

       I'm obviously tone deaf, I was thinking Beethoven's Hymn of Joy

UnaBubba, Mar 28 2001

       I'm pretty sure this is baked --- I read an article about an experimental library catalog that would allow you to sing/play a melody and would search for that melody in its collection. In an old CACM, I think?

wiml, Mar 28 2001

       I bought a low-end keyboard last month that came bundled with a product that claimed to do this.

Aristotle, Mar 28 2001

       I was picturing this as a kiosk in a music store. The software and hardware needed would be paid for by the record companies, on the assumption that this would increase CD sales.   

       Aristotle: Any more info on the one you bought? Have you tried it? Does it work?   

       thumbwax: Good guess. It seems to fit my spelled-out hummings. But, no. That's actually a song that's been running through my head for the last two years, but I can't place it.

ravenswood, Mar 28 2001

       It's called MusicMatch JukeBox and it came with the PlayPlanet keyboard. Have I used it? No. It's an online service and I reserve my online time (we have to pay for it in Europe) for forums like the HB.

Aristotle, Mar 28 2001

       Looks like we need a typing system that does tunes. Remember the old Leroy Anderson (I think) typewriter song? Clackety-clackety-clackety, etc. DING! Don't tell me it's baked because of music annotation. Music has nothing to do with humming tunes. But there's gotta be something better than dee, dah, uh, dum?

melanerpes, Apr 18 2001

       Sounds like a nice idea, except for one problem. All of my friends (yes, i do have friends) Would try and record my off-tune singing. They would then play it back in front of me and laugh. :-(....the shame.

Stozza the Hampster, May 23 2001

       MPEG-7, the upcoming standard for describing audiovisual data is meant to allow search engines to search audio-visual data by e.g. playing a tune on a keyboard, entering lyrics, inputting a picture of someone's face, specifying the timbre of a sound, a colour or texture, etc.   

       The problem is that we still have to produce MPEG-7 data for every audio and video recording in the world, and certain data elements you might want to search by cannot be automatically generated (e.g. composer, singer, where it was recorded). However, it probably wouldn't be hard to index data as it was created, and lots of stuff could be automated.   

       See link.

pottedstu, Sep 17 2001

       Many years ago (possibly the 70s) I remember the launch of a book that did just this. You did not need to be a good singer or anything like that. You started with the first note and compared it with the second. You wrote down whether the second note was higher, lower or the same as the first. Then you compared the third and second notes and continued this for a certain number of notes and then looked the sequence (DUDDDDSSDUUDU) up in the book. I think I remember correctly that you only needed to do about fifteen notes before you'd uniquely identified most popular songs and tunes.

It has the advantage of requiring no musical knowledge, tonal skill, sense of rhythm etc.. However it can't have been that brilliant as I never saw a copy of the book and surely someone would have adapted the idea for the internet by now? It would be even easier with a bit of processing power - you wouldn't even have to know the beginning of the tune, a fragment of sequence would narrow it down for you.

Gordon Comstock, Jan 04 2002

       For the record, the song that's been running through my head for three years would be UUSDUDDUUSSDUDUUSDUDDUUDDDUDUUSSUDDDUDDUD...

ravenswood, Jan 04 2002

       There's quite a bit of this sort of thing out there. The book Gordon Comstock describes (Denys Parsons: The Directory of Tunes and Musical Themes, Spencer Brown, 1975) is out of print, but I've linked to a description of it.   

       More potentally useful, see the link to "Search by humming", which lets you input your DUDDDDUUURRDD and produces a tune that matches or nearly matches; you can then listen to MIDI files of the results, which include various pop tunes. It's a pretty small database, and no use for ravenswood's tune, though.

pottedstu, Jan 04 2002

       pottedstu - excellent, I knew I wasn't dreaming. Although I am left wondering about the Southampton Uni database. I (as I'm sure you did) put in raveswood's sequence and came up with nothing. Then I gradually removed the last letter until I got a result with UURDUDDUUR:
Lost Without Your Love BREAD
Cant Buy Me Love THE BEATLES
Yesterday2 THE BEATLES
All Around The World LISA STANSFIELD
Desperado EAGLES
All very fine and dandy, ravenswood has no taste (except that things that stick in you head are often the most trivial of tunes). But if you take another letter off the sequence (UURDUDDUU) off you get:
Friends Will Be Friends QUEEN
Year Of The Cat AL STEWART
Money Money Money ABBA
Take The Long Way Home SUPERTRAMP
Surely the former list should be a subset of the latter?
Even so I think it's a good effort and one that needs support and encouragement, we should all have a go at it and make them feel loved.

Gordon Comstock, Jan 05 2002

       I tried humming some of the "matches" that thing came up with -- I think it's mistaken.   

       Yes, I have no taste. But my annoying head-song was not on the list. It's some alternative band. I own the tape, I know I do. I listened to nearly all of my tapes last year looking for it, with no luck.   

       At this point, I feel my only recourse is to establish my own website and have people submit UDS lists of songs until someone submits the one for my song.

ravenswood, Jan 08 2002

       The Tuneserver is alive again: On [URL moved to 'links' --bristolz], you can search for more than 10000 themes and melodies based on Parsons code.

rtypke, Feb 09 2002

       [rtypke]: First, that link doesn't appear to work and, second, there is a facility to add links to these pages.  You should use it instead of embedding a link in your annotations.

bristolz, Feb 09 2002

       Looks like Tuneserver is alive again, though its database seems quite small at this point. And no, no exact match for ravenswood's tune.

wan-fu, Aug 25 2002

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