The increasing availability of music in digital format needs to be matched by the development of tools for music accessing, filtering, classification, and retrieval. The research area of Music Information Retrieval (MIR) covers many of these aspects. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of this vast and new field. A number of issues, which are peculiar to the music language, are described–including forms, formats, and dimensions of music–together with the typologies of users and their information needs. To fulfil these needs a number of approaches are discussed, from direct search to information filtering and clustering of music documents. An overview of the techniques for music processing, which are commonly exploited in many approaches, is also presented. Evaluation and comparisons of the approaches on a common benchmark are other important issues. To this end, a description of the initial efforts and evaluation campaigns for MIR is provided.
Music Accessing and Retrieval is the first comprehensive survey of the vast new field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR). It describes a number of issues which are peculiar to the language of music - including forms, formats, and dimensions of music - together with the typologies of users and their information needs. To fulfil these needs a number of approaches are discussed, from direct search to information filtering and clustering of music documents. The emphasis is on tools, techniques, and approaches for content-based MIR, rather than on the systems that implement them. The interested reader can, however, find descriptions of more than 35 systems for music retrieval with links to their Web sites. Music Accessing and Retrieval can be used as both a guide for beginners who are embarking on research in this relatively new area, and a useful reference for established researchers in this field.