Music Query: Methods, Models, and User Studies
(Computing in Musicology 13)

Published by CCARH and The MIT Press, 2004.
ISBN: 0-262-58256-2

Melody as a Significant Musical Feature in Repertory Classification

By Wei Chai

Media Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Cambridge, MA 02139

Abstract: [ PDF ]

This article addresses the music-psychological principles and theories on melodic perception, music memory, melodic organization and melodic similarity, indicating how melody is important for recognition of songs or styles. Folk songs from different countries are classified on the basis of their melodies using Hidden Markov Models. The procedure illustrates that melody itself carries some statistical features to distinguish the styles of music. This experiment also points out some issues in melodic representation that are important for applications of this general kind.