Music Genre Classification Revisited: An In-Depth Examination Guided by Music Experts

Haukur Pálmason, Björn Thór Jónsson, Markus Schedl, Peter Knees

Research output: Conference Article in Proceeding or Book/Report chapterArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Despite their many identified shortcomings, music genres are still often used as ground truth and as a proxy for music similarity. In this work we therefore take another in-depth look at genre classification, this time with the help of music experts. In comparison to existing work, we aim at including the viewpoint of different stakeholders to investigate whether musicians and end-user music taxonomies agree on genre ground truth, through a user study among 20 professional and semi-professional music protagonists. We then compare the results of their genre judgments with different commercial taxonomies and with that of computational genre classification experiments, and discuss individual cases in detail. Our findings coincide with existing work and provide further evidence that a simple classification taxonomy is insufficient.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Computer Music Multidisciplinary Research (CMMR)
Place of PublicationPorto, Portugal
PublisherThe Laboratory PRISM
Publication dateSept 2017
ISBN (Print)979-10-97498
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2017


  • Music genre classification
  • Expert study
  • Ground truth


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