Query by BeatBoxing
Music Information Retrieval for the DJ

By Ajay Kapur, Manjinder S. Benning, George Tzanetakis
University of Victoria's Music Intelligence and Sound Technology Interdisciplinary Center

Project Description and Goals

Disc jockey (DJ) mixing, which £rst emerged in the early 1950ís in Jamaica, is one of the earliest examples of music information retrieval (MIR), where a DJ retrieves prerecorded music from a set of records based on the mood and atmosphere of a night club and audience energy. Traditionally, a DJ uses a set of turntables in conjunction with a mixer to £lter appropriate music for the moment. In this paper, we present new tools for the modern DJ, enabling them to retrieve music with a microphone by BeatBoxing.

BeatBoxing is a type of vocal percussion, where musicians use their lips, cheeks, and throat to create different beats. It originated as an urban artform. The hip-hop culture of the early 1980ís could seldom afford beat machines, samplers, or sound synthesizers. Without machine supplied beats to rap over, a new drum was created - the mouth. Generally, the musician is imitating the sound of a real drumset or other percussion instrument, but there are no limits to the actual sounds that can be produced with their mouth. The musician often covers his mouth with one hand to create louder, deeper sounds. A wide variety of sounds can be created with this technique enabling individual BeatBoxers to have different repertoires of sounds.

The main goal of this work is to explore the use of BeatBoxing as a query mechanism for both retrieval and browsing.

More Information

Please use the following reference to cite this work:

Kapur, A., Benning, M., & G. Tzanetakis, "Query by Beatboxing: Music Information Retrieval for the DJ," In Proceedings of the International Conference on Music Information Retrieval, Barcelona, Spain, October 11-14, 2004.


Email: akapur@alumni.princeton.edu