Parsons code

the Parsons code is a code, that the relative elevator change of a melody by a simple letter sequence represents, “

  • D” means (down): Pitch sinks,
  • “u” (UP): Pitch rises
  • “r” (repeat): Pitch remains directly
  • “*”: first clay/tone as reference clay/tone


example: The melody of “all my ducklings” is written in this code thereby for example as” *uuuururrrdurrrddrrrdrurrrd “.

The code is suitable well, in order to identify works by melody cutouts. For this purpose he finds and others in the data base Musipedia use.

The Parsons code ignores characteristics such as rhythm or exact note intervals. Parsons code of the inquiry melody must be compared with all codes of the data base. For the Matching the editing distance is used. Since one does not know, in which place the melody fragment arises, must Substring Matching are accomplished.

Inventor of the code is Denys Parsons, that it in its book directory OF Tunes and musical Themes (publisher: George Spencer Brown, 1975) ISBN 3-89094-370-5 presented for the first time.

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