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Microsoft Patents How To Classify Music

US PATENT 6.913.466, by Microsoft : System and methods for training a trainee to classify fundamental properties of media entities. A system and methods are provided for training a trainee to analyze media, such as music, in order to recognize and assess the fundamental properties of any piece of media, such as a song or a segment of a song.

The process includes an initial tutorial and a double grooving process. The tutorial phase exposes the trainee to a canonical set of classifications and then exposes the trainee to certain definitive song examples for each classification level of fundamental properties.

The double grooving phase leverages the skills of the experts that defined the canonical set of classification terms to ensure that new listeners, even though exposed to the tutorial, appropriately recognize all fundamental musical properties.

Thus, for specific song examples, a new listener matches results with the system experts within a degree of tolerance. When a high enough degree of cross-listening consensus is reached, the new listener becomes a groover and can classify new songs or segments of songs.


In the classical music context, musicologists have developed names for various attributes of musical compositions. Terms such as adagio, fortissimo, or allegro broadly describe the strength with which instruments in an orchestra should be played to properly render a musical composition from sheet music. In the popular music context, there is less agreement upon proper terminology. Composers indicate how to render their musical compositions with annotations such as brightly, softly, etc., but there is no consistent, concise, agreed-upon system for such annotations.

As a result of rapid movement of musical recordings from sheet music to pre-recorded analog media to digital storage and retrieval technologies, this problem has become acute. In particular, as large libraries of digital musical recordings have become available through global computer networks, a need has developed to classify individual musical compositions in a quantitative manner based on highly subjective features, in order to facilitate rapid search and retrieval of large collections of compositions.


variety of inadequate classification and search approaches are now used. In one approach, a consumer selects a musical composition for listening or for purchase based on past positive experience with the same artist or with similar music. This approach has a significant disadvantage in that it involves guessing because the consumer has no familiarity with the musical composition that is selected.

In another approach, a merchant classifies musical compositions into broad categories or genres. The disadvantage of this approach is that typically the genres are too broad. For example, a wide variety of qualitatively different albums and songs may be classified in the genre of “Popular Music” or “Rock and Roll”.

In still another approach, an online merchant presents a search page to a client associated with the consumer. The merchant receives selection criteria from the client for use in searching the merchant’s catalog or database of available music. Normally the selection criteria are limited to song name, album title, or artist name. The merchant searches the database based on the selection criteria and returns a list of matching results to the client. The client selects one item in the list and receives further, detailed information about that item. The merchant also creates and returns one or more critics’ reviews, customer reviews, or past purchase information associated with the item.

Read more at [USPTO]

[Coolz0r] via [TechDirt]

July 7th, 2005 Posted by Coolz0r | Law, General | no comments

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