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Is there a good search engine to find music based on the melody or score?

I frequently find myself wondering what a certain song is for which I can hum the tune and I am wondering if there is a search engine of sorts where I could write out as much of the score as I know in music notation and search for it to get the title/author/lyrics: A google of sorts for music where instead of searching with words you would write out the notes.

This would be particularly helpful with classical music because their are no words to remember and search for, so unless you know the title you are stuck and remembering titles such as sonata __, minuet __, or prelude __ gets pretty confusing after awhile.

Based on the popularity of the identify-this tags I am guessing a lot of people both on and off this site would find this useful

  • If you’re a smartphone user there are so many apps. Soundhound is a good one. – cmp May 11 at 21:46
  • There are low tech answers. A friend has book of themes. I forget the exact procedure but you either transpose it to C or so that it starts on C and then you can look up the theme alphabetically. When I see her next, I will ask what it is called. – badjohn Jun 17 at 9:41
  • I have been trying both SoundCloud and Shazam as recommended above. While they both do all right at recognizing prerecorded music neither of them had much success at all when I played common classical pieces on the piano such as Moonlight sonata or Fur Elise and neither permitted me to enter the score. – Math Man Jun 17 at 22:39
  • @badjohn that sounds more like what I was thinking. – Math Man Jun 17 at 22:50
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Another question in site gave me an answer. It is not quite like the book that I mentioned in the comments. You don't need to identify the intervals between the notes (as the book required) but only whether the notes go up, down, or stay the same. So, I expect that you need a longer sequence in general but it works surprisingly well with even a short sequence. I just tested it with the first theme from the second movement of Beethoven's fifth symphony. I entered: *UURDDUD. The * represents the first note so I said that it went up twice, then repeated a note, down twice etc. The theme that I wanted was not the first hit but it was on the first page. Slightly confusingly, a later instance in the same movement that did not continue as I expected appeared first. To be sure that you have the right hit, you will need some ability to read music.

I am talking about the Contour Search in this site but the other functions may be useful as well.

https://www.musipedia.org/

I expect to become a frequent visitor.

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  • Thank you @badjohn! The JavaScript piano function on there is exactly what I was looking for. For reference here is the direct link: musipedia.org/js_piano.html – Math Man Jul 21 at 11:49
  • I have not tried that yet. Have you tested it? I also tested the contour search with Fur Elise. I had to enter a longer string to reduce the number of false hits. It works well. Now it is just a question of how big the database is. I need to enter some more obscure stuff. – badjohn Jul 21 at 12:36
  • I tried it and it worked well for me. It brought up the songs I thought of to look for. – Math Man Jul 21 at 13:04
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There is a music score search app based on ngrams called Peachnote. The idea is to enter a melody intervalically, and the app searches a database of scores pulled from IMSLP and other sources.

Here's an article extolling Peachnote's virtues. (Adrian Giordani. 27 May 2018. "Who or what really inspired the Viennese wunderkind?". Accessed 27 July 2020.)

And here's the original paper about Peachnote. (Vladimir Viro. 2011. "Peachnote: Music Score Search and Analysis Platform." Accessed 27 July 2020.)

There is also, an app for Android (link is http, not https), but I don't have an Android, so can't confirm.

Now the bad news: I couldn't get the Peachnote website to find famous classical pieces that I know are on IMSLP. Could be user error, could be many things; I wish you better luck.

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