This paper presents a system called WebMelodyFinder for content-based retrieval of melodies from repositories on the world wide web. The search is based on a least squares fit. The system considers only the (exact) melodic shape rather than the actual notes, and it is therefore invariant to transposition. Using this system, the melody, automatically extracted by a MIDI file or manually entered by a knowledgeable operator, can be used as the main search key to locate the best matching melodies. Other applications might include musicological archives, where other difficult-to-search information is stored (e.g., scores or audio recordings).
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