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Query by Humming

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Music retrieval; Time series database querying


With the appearance of large scale audio and video databases in various application areas, novel information retrieval methods adapted to the specific characteristics of these data types are required. A natural way of searching in a musical audio database is by humming the tune of a song as a query, which is so-called “query by humming”. In this entry, state-of-the-art techniques for effective and efficient querying by humming are described.

Historical Background

In 1995, Asif Ghias et al. [1] proposed the basic architecture for a system supporting query by humming. Three main components are introduced in the system: a pitch-tracking module, a melody database, and a query engine. Queries are hummed into a microphone, digitized, and fed into a pitch-tracking module. Then, a symbol sequence representation upon the relative pitch transitions of the hummed melody is sent to the query engine, which produces a ranked list of...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-0-387-39940-9_292
  • Chapter length: 6 pages
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Query by Humming. Figure 1
Query by Humming. Figure 2

Recommended Reading

  1. Ghias A., Logan J., Chamberlin D., and Smith B.C. Query by humming: musical information retrieval in an audio database. In Proc. 3rd ACM Int. Conf. on Multimedia, 1995, pp. 231–236.

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  2. Keogh E.J. Exact indexing of dynamic time warping. In Proc. 28th Int. Conf. on Very Large Data Bases, 2002, pp. 406–417.

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  3. Zhou M. and Hon Wong M. Boundary-based lower-bound functions for dynamic time warping and their indexing. In Proc. 23rd Int. Conf. on Data Engineering, 2007, pp. 1307–1311.

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  4. Zhu Y. and Shasha D. Warping indexes with envelope transforms for query by humming. In Proc. ACM SIGMOD Int. Conf. on Management of Data, 2003, pp. 181–192.

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  5. Wai-Chee Fu A., Keogh E.J., Yung Hang Lau L., and Chotirat (Ann) Ratanamahatana. Scaling and time warping in time series querying. In Proc. 31st Int. Conf. on Very Large Data Bases, 2005, pp. 649–660.

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© 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC

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Bu, Y., Chi-Wing Wong, R., Fu, AC. (2009). Query by Humming. In: LIU, L., ÖZSU, M.T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Database Systems. Springer, Boston, MA.

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