Was Parsons right? An experiment in usability of music representations for melody-based music retrieval

Uitdenbogerd, A and Yap, Y 2003, 'Was Parsons right? An experiment in usability of music representations for melody-based music retrieval', in H. H. Hoos and D. Bainbridge (ed.) ISMIR 2003, 4th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, Proceedings, Baltimore, USA, 27-30 October 2003, pp. 75-79.


Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: Conference Papers

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Title Was Parsons right? An experiment in usability of music representations for melody-based music retrieval
Author(s) Uitdenbogerd, A
Yap, Y
Year 2003
Conference name ISMIR 2003, 4th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval
Conference location Baltimore, USA
Conference dates 27-30 October 2003
Proceedings title ISMIR 2003, 4th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, Proceedings
Editor(s) H. H. Hoos and D. Bainbridge
Publisher Johns Hopkins University Press
Place of publication Baltimore, USA
Start page 75
End page 79
Total pages 5
Abstract In 1975 Parsons developed his dictionary of musical themes based on a simple contour representation. The motivation was that people with little training in music would be able to identify pieces of music. We decided to test whether people of various levels of musical skill could indeed make use of a text representation to describe a simple melody query. The results indicate that the task is beyond those who are unmusical, and that a scale numeric representation is easier than a contour one for those of moderate musical skill. Further, a common error when using the scale representation still yields a more accurate contour representation than if a user is asked to enter a contour query. We observed an average query length of about seven symbols for the retrieval task.
Subjects Information Systems not elsewhere classified
Copyright notice 2003 Johns Hopkins University
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