NPR logo

'Musical Genome' Helps Find New Favorites

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661182" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
'Musical Genome' Helps Find New Favorites

Digital Life

'Musical Genome' Helps Find New Favorites

'Musical Genome' Helps Find New Favorites

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661182" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

If You Like 'Proud Mary'...

Savage Beast has some suggestions:

'Proud Mary,' Ike and Tina Turner

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661168" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out' Bruce Springsteen

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661170" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Had Me A Real Good Time,' The Faces

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661172" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Gloria,' by Patti Smith

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Sweet Maxine,' Doobie Brothers

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661176" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

'Movin' Out,' Billy Joel

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4661167/4661178" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Much research has been trained on mapping the genetic makeup of humans. But according to one company based in Oakland, Calif., music can have a genome too.

Savage Beast Technologies' Music Genome Project is an effort to break music down to its most elemental forms, using a computer program that evaluates each song by 400 distinct musical attributes. The goal is to create a sophisticated engine for recommending music.

So far, Savage Beast has put its technology to use only for corporate clients, designing kiosks and online promotion strategies for Best Buy, AOL and other retailers. Founder Tim Westergren talks with Scott Simon about how it works.