Mathematical Digest

Short Summaries of Articles about Mathematics
in the Popular Press

"Hit Song Science," by Clive Thompson. TheNew York Times Magazine, 14 December 2003.

The magazine's "Year in Ideas" issue includes Hit Song Science, "a program thattries to determine, with mathematical precision, whether a song is going to bea top 40 hit. The software algorithm takes a new tune and compares it with themathematical signatures of the last 30 years of Top 40 hits." Even though songsthat are mathematically similar don't necessarily sound the same, the programhas made some successful predictions and so some (including record companiesand others) are taking it seriously.

--- Annette Emerson