Thursday, August 07, 2008

Pandora Radio in music education

Every so often I find something that is just absolutely remarkable. My current find is Pandora Radio. This is more than just another online radio. Pandora Radio finds music that you like according to the characteristics of music that you listen to. It learns your preferences and it delivers music based on a complex musical DNA.

The developers of Pandora Radio (Music Genome Project®) have analyzed thousands of songs and rated them on up to 500 different attributes. This genome defines the specific characteristics of the music. In Pandora Radio you create your own "stations." The station may be the name of an artist, a musical genre, an album, a composer, etc. The station will play that artist and other artists whose music has similar characteristics. The result is an uncannily accurate and custom radio station. This is what Artificial Intelligence was meant to be. It is a great way to discover new music (There are convenient links to online stores where you can buy the music. I use Pandora Radio on an iPhone which links to iTunes, of course).

Educators can use Pandora Radio by having students listen to different music and try to determine what characteristics certain songs have in common. I do not know if the people who run the Music Genome Project® would share the characteristics that they use, but perhaps they would be willing to share just enough for educational purposes. Learn more about the Music Genome Project® in WikiPedia.

Next, I have another music project to talk about.



Anonymous Lucia @ Pandora said...

Hi Emiliano -

I'm glad you're enjoying Pandora! Indeed, many teachers use Pandora in their classrooms.
We don't release the details of our musical analysis, but if like, you can click on the song title while you're listening, and you'll see a longer list of musicological traits.

Also very useful in educational settings are our musicology podcasts:

Lucia, from Pandora

4:28 PM  

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