Selection is a vital component used in Evolutionary Algorithms (EA) where the fitness value of the solution has influence on the evolution process. Normally, any efficient selection method makes use of the Darwinian principle of natural selection (i.e., survival of the fittest). Harmony search (HS) is a recent EA inspired by musical improvisation process to seek a pleasing harmony. Originally, two selection methods are used in HS: (i) memory consideration selection method where the values of the decision variables are randomly selected from the population (or solutions stored in harmony memory (HM)) to generate a new harmony, and (ii) selecting a new solution in HM whereby a greedy selection is used to update the HM. The memory consideration selection, the focal point of this paper, is not based on natural selection principle which draws heavily on random selection. In this paper, novel selection schemes which replace the random selection scheme in memory consideration are investigated, comprising global-best, fitness-proportional, tournament, linear rank and exponential rank. The proposed selection schemes are individually altered and incorporated in the process of memory consideration and each adoption is realized as a new HS variation. The performance of the proposed HS variations are evaluated and a comparative study is conducted. The experimental results using benchmark functions show that the selection schemes incorporated in memory consideration directly affect the performance of HS algorithm. Finally, a parameter sensitivity analysis of the proposed HS variations is analyzed. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.