I was pretty disillusioned with SoundHound when I attempted to identify a piece of classical music that I recognized but could not remember the name to and the app told me that the song could not be recognized. After some further tests I found it would/could not even identify, among many other famous classics, Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Turns out SoundHound only identifies rock/pop music.

So is there a song identification app out there that is capable of identifying classical music?

  • Actually, Shazam can do classical, but only what I would call pop classical (it's not pop at all, it's just mainstream classical). Shazam has failed FIVE of my requests this week alone for concert classical (on the radio but not Tchaikovsky's 1812 if you get my gist)...so I'm looking for a really good classical identifier. Something that has the musical equivalent of book ISBN's.
    – Meg
    Commented Mar 25, 2017 at 23:29
  • Does this answer your question? What online resources are available for identifying songs from audio or score?
    – Aaron
    Commented Aug 15, 2022 at 1:15

5 Answers 5


Shazam covers classical as well as mainstream. Available for most platforms.

  • 2
    Shazam DOES NOT WORK for classical music. Anyone who has said this, is not well familiar with the app. Shazam will find you the album, London Philharmonic conducted by Sir George Solti, but it WILL NOT tell you if it is Brahms or Schubert or Shostakovich, nor will it tell you the name of the music. SHAZAM DOES NOT IDENTIFY COMPOSER OR TITLE OF MUSIC only the name of the album. Commented Jan 12, 2017 at 11:45
  • @julianneMiss that's not quite true. It worked for me just a few weeks ago, when I needed to identify the Overture to Mozart's The Marriage Of Figaro, which it identified incredibly quickly. If it can identify the record, the name of the record itself will tell you what has been recorded (say, Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier Book I). Shazam doesn't know anything about different kinds of music, it doesn't know theory: if a recording is in its database, it will tell you what it knows. If not, not. I can't see a problem here. If you're using Shazam to identify the composer, you're doing it wrong.
    – s.m.
    Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 13:50

In my experience, the 2 best apps for recognizing classical music are Soundhound and Beatfind, with Soundhound better than Beatfind.


I just used SoundHound to identify a piece of familiar Bach organ music played towards the end of Father Brown S3, E7 and it identified it correctly first time as the Prelude BWV 553. Maybe it’s accuracy has improved over the last 5 years.


To be honest I think it's a bit of an unreasonable ask to expect the current generation of audio-recognition interfaces to identify a piece of classical music by only its composition and tie that to the composer. It's important to remember that what courses through the veins of all of these services are massive databases filled with quickly parseable identifiers that allow them to quickly compare the current input what something already known.

To the best of my knowledge, no central repository of information surrounding classical music compositions, performances and recordings exists for public use, and until it does and has an API, what you seek will never exist. If you wanted to be part of making this a reality in the future, that's where your efforts need to be directed.


I knew I was listening Beethoven Symphony, but I couldn’t remember which. I started SoundHound in the last 2 minutes of Allegro molto (last part) and bingo SoundHound popped the answer with a record of the 2nd Symphony!

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.