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Hewlett W.B., Selfridge-Field E. (eds.) Melodic Similarity. Concepts, Procedures, and Applications

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Hewlett W.B., Selfridge-Field E. (eds.) Melodic Similarity. Concepts, Procedures, and Applications
MIT Press, 1998. — 272 p.
With this issue, Computing in Musicology makes its debut as a co-publication with MIT Press. We believe that this change will benefit both our readers and our contributors. We welcome your comments.
This special issue is devoted entirely to the subject of melodic processing. Much of what it discusses is more concerned with conceptualization than with technology. Yet it is technology that makes the subject topical. Computers offer the potential of enabling us to perform many tasks related to melodic searching, recognition, comparison, or generation, yet their purveyors sometimes convey a false sense of the ease with which we can produce useful results. Quite apart from the details of technology, we lack an articulate vocabulary for discussing melody. The intellectual apparatus for framing specific questions awaits development. Technology cannot proceed without it, except in superficial ways that may enjoy only temporary value.
The subject of melody cuts across many subdisciplines including music history, theory, analysis, cognition, perception, and ethnic studies. The subject has many bridges to other disciplines as well. Thus two articles bring perspectives to similarity-searching in general from the domain of computer science. Another contribution recounts legal judgments on claims of melodic plagiarism. One incorporates procedures from the social sciences. In the introductory article some fundamental issues of conceptualization and data representation are considered. While the contributions included in this issue are representative of the range of approaches that have been proposed, they barely suggest all the possible implementations or adaptations to particular repertories or query types. Much important work is still to come.
I. Concepts and Procedures
Conceptual and Representational Issues in Melodic Comparison
A Geometrical Algorithm for Melodic Difference
String-Matching Techniques for Musical Similarity and Melodic Recognition
Sequence-Based Melodic Comparison: A Dynamic-Programming Approach
Strategies for Sorting Musical Incipits
Signatures and Earmarks: Computer Recognition of Patterns in Music
II. Tools and Applications
A Multi-scale Neural-Network Model for Learning and Reproducing Chorale Variations
Melodic Pattern-Detection Using MuSearch in Schubert's Die schöne Müllerin
Rhythmic Elements of Melodic Process in Nagauta Shamisen Music
III. Human Melodic Judgments
Concepts of Melodic Similarity in Music-Copyright Infringement Suits
Judgments of Human and Machine Authorship in Real and Artificial Folksongs
IV. Online Tools for Melodic Searching
MELDEX:A Web-based Melodic Index Service
Themefinder: A Web-based Melodic Search Tool
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