I have recently started learning music theory on my own. I have had some previous exposure to Western music theory when I was in primary school (now I'm in college). So, I'm not completely new to the subject. I'm learning about harmony, tonality, scales and modes and it will be a great help to me if I can find real songs written in these scales and modes and stuff like that.

Does there exist a website like this? Something that categorizes songs or classical music based on their musical characteristics? I looked for a similar question on this website, but I didn't find any. So, I decided to ask it by myself. Thanks.

  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because finding external resources is off-topic. – Dom Dec 5 '18 at 3:35

For classical music try this: Yale–Classical Archives Corpus

It's a dataset that must be downloaded an unzipped, but the contents is composer names, work titles, and keys. Read the homepage description for more, but the dataset was built from reading MIDI files at the Classical Archive. Working with a dataset in these days of Google search may seem like a pain in the neck, but over 10,000 works are indexed in the file I opened so I think it's worth the effort to look into this one.

A lot of folk music has been notated using ABC and there are some search engines that allow searching by musical characteristics like key (and I think meter.) Folk Tune Finder is one example.

If you want to keep digging and can get to a large university music library, you can find different reference sources. I remember finding one that indexed all of the beginning tones for Haydn. Just a huge list of sequences like CCEGCEFAC indexed to the composition. I think the book may have been Melodic Index to Haydn's Instrumental Music.

I don't know of a musical index for pop/rock/jazz, but if I find a good one, I'll update my post.


I heavily recommend hooktheory.com (I'm not affiliated with them, but I've chatted with the owner and he's super nice).

They have a very large list of pop songs, their chord progression and toplines and this can be displayed in sync with youtube videos.

But also, they've done statistics with progressions and you can browse by song, or even enter your own and it'll list the songs that match it, etc.. it's good educational fun.

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