Aucouturier, J.J and Pachet, F. Representing Musical Genre: A State of the Art. Journal of New Music Research, 32(1):83-93, 2003.

Sony CSL authors: Jean-Julien Aucouturier, Fran├žois Pachet


Musical genre is probably the most popular music descriptor. In the context of large musical databases and Electronic Music Distribution, genre is therefore a crucial metadata for the description of music content. However, genre is intrinsically ill-defined and attempts at defining genre precisely have a strong tendency to end up in circular, ungrounded projections of fantasies. Is genre an intrinsic attribute of music titles, as, say, tempo? Or is genre a extrinsic description of the whole piece? In this article, we discuss the various approaches in representing musical genre, and propose to classify these approaches in three main categories: manual, prescriptive and emergent approaches. We discuss the pros and cons of each approach, and illustrate our study with results of the Cuidado IST project.

Keywords: Cuidado, Genre, Music


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BibTeX entry

@ARTICLE { pachet:02c, AUTHOR="Aucouturier, J.J and Pachet, F.", JOURNAL="Journal of New Music Research", NUMBER="1", PAGES="83-93", TITLE="Representing Musical Genre: A State of the Art", VOLUME="32", YEAR="2003", }