Pandora: Let the Music Play

As I write this, I am listening to Pandora’s generic “funk” station. “What is Pandora?” you may ask. It’s pandora.com where you can create your own “radio” stations based on artist, title or you can pick from a number of generic stations like the one I’m playing now. (Funk, not only is it danceable, you can keyboard to it as well — though probably not at the same time.)

Pandora is based on the Music Genome Project. As the site says

Since we started back in 2000, we have been hard at work on the Music Genome Project. It’s the most comprehensive analysis of music ever undertaken. Together our team of fifty musician-analysts has been listening to music, one song at a time, studying and collecting literally hundreds of musical details on every song. It takes 20-30 minutes per song to capture all of the little details that give each recording its magical sound – melody, harmony, instrumentation, rhythm, vocals, lyrics … and more – close to 400 attributes! We continue this work every day to keep up with the incredible flow of great new music coming from studios, stadiums and garages around the country.

With Pandora you can explore this vast trove of music to your heart’s content. Just drop the name of one of your favorite songs or artists into Pandora and let the Genome Project go. It will quickly scan its entire world of analyzed music, almost a century of popular recordings – new and old, well known and completely obscure – to find songs with interesting musical similarities to your choice. Then sit back and enjoy as it creates a listening experience full of current and soon-to-be favorite songs for you.

You can create as many “stations” as you want. And you can even refine them. If it’s not quite right you can tell it so and it will get better for you.

Check it out here. And now to shift the soundtrack, inflect the mood — a little reggae? Or maybe some Bach?

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