Chordify is an online service that transcribes uploaded and streaming songs into sheet music.
Sheet music can be expensive and difficult to find, particularly for indie or non-mainstream artists. Particularly talented musicians may be able to transcribe the melody, but even then, it takes a lot of listening on repeat. Now, for enthusiastic guitarists at any level, there’s a new service that breaks down YouTube, SoundCloud or other online audio into chords.
Created by Bas De Haas, Chordify is a free service that takes the audio from sites or an upload to break it down into chords. For the impatient, you can leave an email address for the service to send it to you later.
While the transcription process is not always perfect, it gives musicians a place to start and adjust accordingly. De Haas, who created Chordify for his Ph.D dissertation, explained why the transcribing process is tough to do by machine:
The problem with ‘full polyphonic transcription’ is that the computer doesn’t know how many voices and instruments sound together and what the characteristics are of these instruments,” says De Haas. “When you transcribe chords, we examine the mixture as a whole and examine what the prominent frequencies are in the spectrum.
First the audio is stripped into separate parts, with HarmTrace, a system for analyzing the harmony of music, developed by De Haas and partner Jose Pedro Magalhaes. Then the chords are chosen to best fit the audio and after preparing the chords, can be followed along with the song, allowing even the most novice guitarist to rock out to their favorite music.
Images: Tschundler, Chordify