Prevalent efforts have been put in automatically inferring genres of musical items. Yet, the propose solutions often rely on simplifications and fail to address the diversity and subjectivity of music genres. Accounting for these has, though, many benefits for aligning knowledge sources, integrating data and enriching musical items with tags.

Here, we choose a new angle for the genre study by seeking to predict what would be the genres of musical items in a target tag system, knowing the genres assigned to them within source tag systems. We call this a translation task and identify three cases:

  1. no common annotated corpus between source and target tag systems exists
  2. such a large corpus exists
  3. only few common annotations exist.
Graph Genre Mapping

We propose the related solutions: a knowledge-based translation modeled as taxonomy mapping, a statistical translation modeled with maximum likelihood logistic regression; a hybrid translation modeled with maximum a posteriori logistic regression with priors given by the knowledge-based translation.

During evaluation, the solutions fit well the identified cases and the hybrid translation is systematically the most effective w.r.t. multilabel classification metrics.


This work is a first attempt to unify genre tag systems by leveraging both representation and interpretation diversity. It has been been published in the proceedings of the 20th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference (ISMIR 2019).