Music Information Retrieval

We organised a small workshop on Music Information Retrieval some weeks ago, and for that I carried out a small check for the most important MIR-topics using Google Scholar. I did this by first searching for the phrase “Music Information Retrieval”, which turned up 4670 hits. Then I started adding various other phrases, and the result was as follows:

“Music Information Retrieval” + “…”

  • 3730 – audio
  • 1990 – MIDI
  • 544 – action
  • 485 – motion
  • 328 – gesture
  • 85 – movement action gesture
  • 45 – “motion capture”
  • 21 – “body movement”

Quite clearly, audio-based methods seems to dominate the MIR literature, while symbolic representations (e.g. MIDI) is also quite high on the list. Words like action, motion and gesture turn up some hits, but these words are quite general, and may refer to many different things. It is interesting to notice how few hits there are for “body movement” and “motion capture”. Quite clearly there is room for a lot more MIR research from an embodied perspective.

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Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.