Most people choose music by listening to the radio or visiting a record store. But a quicker way is to use the Internet. You type in a song title or the name of an artist and up comes a list of recordings. But finding a particular type of music, perhaps something that sounds like Bob Dylan, with a Cuban beat and a violin refrain, is not so easy.
But it soon could be. Silvia Pfeiffer from Australia’s Science Agency CSIRO, is creating a system of locating music, by using maths.
“We actually look inside the piece. We extract the information that is already inherent in the piece and that’s done automatically.”
Every part of the music is interpreted mathematically.
“You would then say, “Okay get me other pieces that sound similar, that are of the same genre, maybe not the same artist, but the same genre”. Then you could get a play list of pieces that are similar from a perceptual point of view.”
The system could be used by copyright agencies to detect when a radio station plays a particular piece of music, by music composers, by film directors, and by anyone who loves music.
“CSIRO is part of the top research in this area.”
Each time the tempo or volume changes, or a new instrument joins in, it’s revealed in the frequency spectrum. It means that as the music gets into the groove so does your computer.