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TU Berlin

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Query by Humming

Project Data
Project Leader

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Sikora
TU Berlin
Project timeframe

til 09/2004


Content based retrieval is required for large multimedia databases. This means a user can retrieve a picture by describing a drawing, a piece of music is described by a melody. Ein Query-by-Humming (QBH) System (deutsch: Anfrage durch Summen) ermöglicht es, eine Melodie in einer Datenbank finden. Die Suchanfrage erfolgt dabei durch Vorsummen oder Singen der gesuchten Melodie. Ein QBH-System stellt eine typische Aufgabenstellung aus dem Bereich der MPEG-7-Applikationen dar.

Query by Humming (QBH) is a method for searching in a multimedia database system containing meta data descriptions of songs. The database can be searched by hummed queries, this means that a user can hum a melody into a microphone which is connected to the computer hosting the system. The QBH system searches the database for songs which are similar to the input query and presents the result to the user as a list of matching songs. A QBH system is a typical application using the standard MPEG-7.


  • Developement of a QBH system using MPEG-7.
  • Robust transription of sung input signals.
  • Automatic extraction of melody contours for use in MPEG-7 databases.


Queryhammer: A QBH-system implemented using Matlab.
Beatbank: Automatic extraction of tempo and note onset in music signals.

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Sikora

Dipl.-Ing. Jan-Mark Batke

Dipl.-Ing. Gunnar Eisenberg


  • Batke, Jan-Mark; Eisenberg, Gunnar; Weishaupt, Philipp; Sikora, Thomas: A Query by Humming system using MPEG-7 Descriptors. In: Proceedings of the 116th AES Convention, 2004
  • Eisenberg, Gunnar; Batke, Jan-Mark; Sikora, Thomas: BeatBank - An MPEG-7 compliant Query by Tapping System. In: Proceedings of the 116th AES Convention, 2004


  • List of MPEG-7 Links

Zusatzinformationen / Extras