Music Db

We propose a design and implementation for a music information database and query system, the MusicDB, which can be used for data-driven algorithmic composition. Inspired by David Cope’s ideas surrounding composition by “music recombinance”, the MusicDB is implemented as a Java package, and is loaded in MaxMSP using the mxj external. The MusicDB contains a music analysis module, capable of extracting musical information from standard MIDI files, and a search engine. The search engine accepts queries in the form of a simple six-part syntax, and can return a variety of different types of musical information, drawing on the encoded knowledge of musical form stored in the database.


James Maxwell, Arne Eigenfeldt.

Research papers

Maxwell, J.B., Eigenfeldt, A. “The MusicDB: A Music Database Query System for Recombinance-based Composition in Max/MSP”, Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Belfast, 2008.

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Maxwell, J.B., Eigenfeldt, A. “A Music Database and Query System for Recombinant Composition”, International Society of Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR), Philadelphia, 2008, 75–80.