Thursday, February 4, 2010

Shazam and Beethoven

One of my favorite apps for my new Droid phone is called Shazam.  When a song you love but don't know the name of comes on the radio, you hit a button and hold your phone up to the speaker.  The program somehow recognizes the song and tells you what it is.  If you want to buy it, you click another button, and, voila!  The song is now on your phone.  So far I've purchased Judas Priest's You've Got Another Thing Comin'and LeAnn Rimes' I Need You.  I know, strange taste I have.

I've tried to use Shazam on classical music but it has failed every time.  I'm not sure if they haven't built classical music into the database or if the music wasn't loud enough or what.  I should look that up.  Anyway, the last time I tried it, Sammy and I were in a bagel shop.  Sammy was very interested in the music, which I didn't recognize. (Luckily, the DJ later informed me that it was Mussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition.) 

While we were listening, the piece was a bit frenzied and a little scary.  Sammy said, MOMMY, THAT'S MAD?  (She always identifies music with emotions, telling me which songs are happy, which are sad, and which are mad.)  I answered, "Yes, it does sound a bit mad, and it sounds a little scary to me.  It makes me think of Snow White running away from the wicked Queen through the forest."  We listened for a while, and she repeated, with more certainty, THAT'S A MAD ONE.  And then, MOMMY, IS THAT BEETHOVEN?


  1. My 16 year-old has a similar capability on her phone and we ran the same experiment with the same results - no classical.

    Night on Bald Mountain is one of my favorite scary pieces.

  2. Lynne, Oh yeah - that's a good one! I'll have to play it for Sammy. She loves anything scary.

    I had no idea that was Mussorgsky, and actually, I'd never heard of Mussorgsky until now. I actually found that I do know the Pictures at an Exhibition piece but that I didn't recognize the small part we were hearing at the time. I wish Shazam worked with classical because there are so many pieces that I love but just don't know who/what they are.

    However, there is another app called Pandora which I've been using to listen to classical music and it is helping me learn. You put in the name of a song or composition that you like, and it plays tons of other music that is similar. You rate it and it will modify its playlist. Free! I love it!