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

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

Transportation Distances and Their Application in Music- Notation Retrieval

By Frans Wiering, Rainer Typke, Remco C. Veltkamp

Institute of Information and Computing Sciences
Utrecht University
P.O. Box 80.089
NL-3508 TB Utrecht

Abstract: [ PDF ]

This article introduces the representation of music notation as a weighted dot pattern and defines two distance measures--the Earth-Mover's Distance and the Proportional Transportation Distance. Their performance is compared in the ranking of melodic-match candidates. Queries with both distance measures are evaluated and their applicability in music research is discussed. The research is related to the Orpheus project (, which aims to develop efficient methods for content-based retrieval from large collections of encoded music notation producing meaningful results.