About Themefinder

Themefinder is a non-profit collaborative project of the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities (CCARH) at Stanford University and the Cognitive and Systematic Musicology Laboratory at the Ohio State University.

Copyright Notice

Both the notated images and underlying data representations used by Themefinder are protected by international copyright laws. Visitors to this site are free to use Themefinder to search for musical themes for personal, teaching and non-commercial research purposes. However, any attempt to download the database, in whole or in part, will be considered a breach of copyright, and may lead to denial of access or legal action.

The notated images are copyright © 1999-2000 by the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities. The encoded thematic material is copyright © 1999-2000 by David Huron and CCARH. The encoded European folksongs are copyright © 1999 by the estate of Helmut Schaffrath and used by permission. The Latin Motet thematic material is copyright © 1993 by Harry B. Lincoln and used by permission.

Software Design Web Interface Data Entry
David Huron Craig Stuart Sapp David Huron
Andreas Kornstädt Leigh van Handel
Zoe Chafe
Maria Heifitz
Kelly Leistikow
Notation Graphics Editing Programming
Walter Hewlett Walter Hewlett David Huron
Craig Stuart Sapp Eleanor Selfridge-Field Craig Stuart Sapp
Frans Wiering Bret Aarden

How Themefinder Works

Themefinder provides a web-based interface to the Humdrum thema command, which in turn allows searching of databases containing musical themes or incipits.

Themefinder's search engine and thematic database were created by David Huron. Database management and organization by David Huron and Craig Stuart Sapp.

Music Data for Themefinder

Themes and incipits available through Themefinder are first encoded in the **kern music data format.

Groups of incipits are assembled into databases using a program written by David Huron. Currently there are three databases: Classical Instrumental Music, European Folksongs, and Latin Motets from the sixteenth century.

Individuals who have encoded their own musical databases may wish to consider making their material available to others via Themefinder. Further information is available by writing to Prof. David Huron or Prof. Eleanor Selfridge-Field.

Graphical Notation for Themefinder

Matched themes are displayed on-screen in graphical notation. Currently, two methods are used to produce notated images.

The classical music themes were generated by first converting the kern incipit to the MuseData format and then converted to TIFF images using software written for CCARH by Walter Hewlett. These TIFF images are then converted to transparent GIF images for use on the web. These notation images were generated and edited by Walter Hewlett.

Folksongs are notated using the Humdrum ms command which converts **kern musical data into a form that the commercial Mup notation software can understand. The resulting postscript outputs are then automatically converted to transparent GIF images. The Renaissance theme set also uses mup though a translation program written by Craig Stuart Sapp.

Web interface to Themefinder

The Web interface to Themefinder accesses perl CGI scripts which collect the forms generated by the search page. These scripts process the search into a format suitable for the Humdrum thema command. Resulting matches are then displayed as graphical notation as well as with short reference notes. The Web interface was designed and programmed by Andreas Kornstädt and Craig Stuart Sapp.