Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Query by Humming

  • Yingyi BuEmail author
  • Raymond Chi-Wing Wong
  • Ada Wai-Chee Fu
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_292


Music retrieval; Time series database querying


With the appearance of large scale audio and video databases in various application areas, novel information retrieval methods adapted to the specific characteristics of these data types are required. A natural way of searching in a musical audio database is by humming the tune of a song as a query, which is so-called “query by humming”. In this entry, state-of-the-art techniques for effective and efficient querying by humming are described.

Historical Background

In 1995, Asif Ghias et al. [2] proposed the basic architecture for a system supporting query by humming. Three main components are introduced in the system: a pitch-tracking module, a melody database, and a query engine. Queries are hummed into a microphone, digitized, and fed into a pitch-tracking module. Then, a symbol sequence representation upon the relative pitch transitions of the hummed melody is sent to the query engine, which produces a ranked list of...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Fu AW-C, Keogh EJ, Lau LYH, Ratanamahatana CA. Scaling and time warping in time series querying. In: Proceedings of the 31st International Conference on Very Large Data Bases; 2005. p. 649–60.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ghias A, Logan J, Chamberlin D, Smith BC. Query by humming: musical information retrieval in an audio database. In: Proceedings of the 3rd ACM International Conference on Multimedia; 1995. p. 231–6.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Keogh EJ. Exact indexing of dynamic time warping. In: Proceedings of the 28th International Conference on Very Large Data Bases; 2002. p. 406–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Zhou M, Wong MH. Boundary-based lower-bound functions for dynamic time warping and their indexing. In: Proceedings of the 23rd International Conference on Data Engineering; 2007. p. 1307–11.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Zhu Y, Shasha D. Warping indexes with envelope transforms for query by humming. In: Proceedings of the ACM SIGMOD International Conference on Management of Data; 2003. p. 181–92.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingyi Bu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Raymond Chi-Wing Wong
    • 2
  • Ada Wai-Chee Fu
    • 1
  1. 1.Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  2. 2.Department of Computer Science and EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyClear Water BayHong Kong

Section editors and affiliations

  • Jeffrey Xu Yu
    • 1
  1. 1.The Chinese University of Hong KongHong KongChina