Stefan Hayden

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Open Source Music Genome Project

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.

punk roots
hard boop roots
house roots

electronica influences
country influences
blues influences
disco influences
west coast rap influences
prevalent use of groove

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

major key tonality
mixed major and minor key tonality
tonal harmonies

vocal harmonies
subtle use of vocal harmony
call and answer vocal harmony (antiphony)
vocal-centric aesthetic
dynamic female vocal
emotional female lead vocal performance

radio friendly stylings
modern r&b styling

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

View the Open Source Music Genome Project wiki >>


I’ve always found it hard to find Pandora stations that other people have created, so I started this site on Crispy News just for sharing!

Stop by and let us know what you’re listening to.




Thanks for the tip, Tim!


It was about time this came!
Pandora is really good… but it would be better if it where opensource, so everyone could activelly aport to it.
I see the wiki is not progressing much though. But the tags are not the most important thing, HOW to use them is also intriguin. Maybe sourceforge…
Just wanted to give thumbs up ;)


I posed a link to the open source music genome project wiki at



Naoise: Yes the wiki is slow, but it is a small project.

I have no idea what to DO with the tags. It was my intent to simply explain what each tag meant and hope others would find use.

Thanks for the encouragement.

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