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In many Western countries, music is ubiquitous: leading theme or leitmotiv in commercials, background in news stories, opening tune for TV serials plus background in restaurants and elevators, ringtone for cellphones, and welcome in answering machines. The ability of a musical work to capture the attention of the audience or to reinforce the message that is conveyed by the video is difficult to define. Consequently it is difficult to describe the information need with metadata. Also in this case, the QBE paradigm may be a viable solution.

For instance, the knowledge of the musical theory and practice, of the dimensions conveyed by the two forms and their different formats, may 29 30 The Role of the User range from the complete understanding of scholars and professionals to a vague set of notions of casual users. For the sake of simplicity, potential users of MIR systems are divided in three categories: (i) casual users want to enjoy music, listening and collecting the music they like and discovering new good music; (ii) professional users need music suitable for particular usages related to their activities, which may be in media production or for advertisements; (iii) music scholars, music theorists, musicologists, and musicians are interested in studying music.

There is a particular Western music genre where rhythm information, in particular the number and the organization of strong and soft beats, becomes particularly relevant also for casual users: dance music. Each rhythm is defined by a style label and is associated with particular steps to dance to it. For example, the approach presented in [38] uses general descriptors, such as tempo and periodicity histograms, to classify dance music. The work reported in [110] proposes to identify patterns in the spectrum of the signal that are considered as the signature of a particular dance.

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