Find songs by tapping

There’s a song that’s driving you crazy. You keep humming it, but you can’t remember the name of it. If you have reasonably good pitch, you can use the Parsons code to work it out on the Musipedia site. All you need to do is say whether each note was higher or lower than the preceding one and you’ve got a pretty good shot at finding what you want in their database. I wrote about Musipedia last year, but now there’s a site that does it one better.

The Parsons code strips music down to ups and downs and omits the rhythm as redundant to the basic problem of identifying the tune. But suppose you do it the other way around… omit the pitch and pay attention only to the rhythm. Is the pitch also redundant in this sense? Song Search by Tapping is a site that tests this idea. Their tagline is “Search for music by tapping the rhythm of the song’s melody.” I tried it with something that I thought they might have in the database and has a distinctive rhythm: “She was a fast ma-CHINE, she kept her motor CLEAN.” No problem: it returned in triumph with “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC.

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