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MMD > Archives > September 2002 > 2002.09.01 > 04Prev  Next

Cataloging Musical Themes
By Matthew Caulfield

Speaking realistically, of what use would a catalog of musical themes
be?  Millions of musical compositions have been created over time and
around the world.  Most of them have been forgotten.  A small fraction
of them are memorable and still being heard today.  That small fraction
is the part that creators of musical theme dictionaries focus on -- and
it is just that part that we don't need to catalog, because the human
brain can already identify them.

The part that "needs" to be cataloged is the larger fraction, the
millions of obscure and forgotten tunes, so that someone wanting to
identify an unknown can conduct a needle-in-the-haystack search among
those millions.  It is a hopeless task and an unprofitable investment
of time, both in the creation of such a monster tool and in the use of
it.  Forget about it.

Matthew Caulfield (Irondequoit, N.Y.)

(Message sent Sun 1 Sep 2002, 13:32:58 GMT, from time zone GMT-0400.)

Key Words in Subject:  Cataloging, Musical, Themes

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