Have your ever had a tune running through your head and not been able to remember what it was, who wrote it, or where you may have heard it? When this happens to me, the tune seems to dig itself into my brain. I can suppress the rogue engram by listening to other music I find compelling, but that’s not always convenient. In many cases, the better alternative for mental housekeeping is to identify the tune and tuck it away into a larger memory. But how does one identify a tune with no clues other than the tune itself?
Finally, you can enter a melodic contour using a Parsons code. This is a simple notation that’s easy to learn and use. You start by entering the character * for the first note, then enter U if the next note goes up, D if it goes down, and R if it stays the same. For example, the Parsons code for Amazing Grace is *UUDUDDDDRUUDUDUDUDUDDDUURDDRUUDUDD, which can be visualized as follows:
Of course a tune will only be found if it’s in the Musipedia database, which is not comprehensive. At present, the database seems to be most complete for classical music. Another thing to keep in mind is that you don’t always know whether something that sounds like a repeated note (especially when there are sung lyrics) may be a held note in the score, and vice versa. This can make it difficult to find a tune, even though you think you’ve reproduced it perfectly.
If you can’t identify your tune with the tools Musipedia provides, you can try posting it in website’s the forum to see if another person can help you out.