Pandora is a great music service that does a great job of matching up artists and songs to your tastes. Pandora claims to have hundreds categories it calls “genes” in it’s Music Gnome Project.
These genes are a great way to delve deeper in to your own music tastes then you ever have before. Pandora keeps these categories under lock and key though and only shows a few of them for each song.
Though there are probably categories they never show it would great if there was place that showed all the categories they did show to the public.
With that wish I launch the Open Source Music Genome Project. A project that will hopefully blossom into an awesome resource to people who want to better understand the music they are listening to.
Please visit the Open Source Music Genome Project wiki and help organize, add to, and develop a full list of categories and descriptions.
Below is what I have collected so far from Pandora. A small drop in the bucket of the hundreds of categories Pandora have behind the scenes.
Roots punk roots hard boop roots house roots
Influences electronica influences country influences blues influences disco influences west coast rap influences prevalent use of groove
Instrumentation slide/pedal steal guitars acoustic rhythm guitars repetitive melodic phrasing extensive vamping electric guitar solo brass instrument solos soprano sax solo light drumming danceable beats acoustic drum samples simple high hat part electric rhythm guitars prominent percussion electric guitar riffs prominent use of synth electric rock instrumentation mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation
Tone major key tonality mixed major and minor key tonality tonal harmonies
Voice vocal harmonies subtle use of vocal harmony call and answer vocal harmony (antiphony) vocal-centric aesthetic dynamic female vocal emotional female lead vocal performance
Styling radio friendly stylings modern r&b styling
Random highly synthetic sonority mild rhythmic syncopation clear focus on record studio production explicit lyrics tight kick sound dry recording sound Basic rock song structure synth rock arranging