New project on MIR & singing: CASAS

At my lab we are starting a new project where we integrate our expertise in singing voice processing and music information retrieval to generate tools for choir singers.

CASAS (Community-Assisted Singing Analysis and Synthesis) is a project funded by the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of the Spanish Government (TIN2015-70816-R), that started in  January 1st 2016 and will end in December 31st 2018. use singing to create identity, express emotion, tell stories, exercise creativity, and connect with each other while singing together. This is demonstrated by the large community of music singers active in choirs and the fact that vocal music makes up an important part of our cultural heritage. Currently, an increasing amount of music resources are becoming digital, and the Web has become an important tool for singers to discover and study music, as a feedback resource and as a way to share their singing performances. The CASAS project has two complementary goals:

  • The first one is to improve state-of-the-art technologies that assist singers in their musical practice. We research on algorithms for singing analysis and synthesis (ex: automatic transcription, description, synthesis, classification and visualization), following a user-centered perspective, and with the goal of making them more robust, scalable and musically meaningful.
  • The second one is to enhance current public-domain vocal music archives and create research data for our target music information retrieval (MIR) tasks. Our project put a special emphasis on choral repertoire in Catalan and Spanish.

We exploit our current methods for Music Information Retrieval and Singing Voice Processing, and we involve a community of singers that use our technologies and provide their evaluations, ground truth data and relevance feedback.

I did my first logo, which is inspired by choirs, audio & “houses”, which is the english translation of “casas”. It will be an amazing project!

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Women in Music IR – 2016

I am very happy to take part at the WiMIR community, a group of people within the International Society for Music Information Retrieval dedicated to promoting the role of, and increasing opportunities for, women in the MIR field. We meet to socialize, share information, and discuss in an informal setting, with the goal of building a community around women in our field.

For 2016, there are many things happening for the first time this year:

And this is only the start….. I am really happy to belong to this community🙂

Do you like it? then join us!
IMG_2947Photo taken with ISMIR organizers at
WiMIR meeting in ISMIR2014, Taipei, Taiwan

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Paper on melodic similarity in flamenco now online

Our paper on melodic similarity is finally online! The paper is titled

Melodic Contour and Mid-Level Global Features Applied to the Analysis of Flamenco Cantes

This work focuses on the topic of melodic characterization and similarity in a specific musical repertoire: a cappella flamenco singing, more specifically in debla and martinete styles. We propose the combination of manual and automatic description. First, we use a state-of-the-art automatic transcription method to account for general melodic similarity from music recordings. Second, we define a specific set of representative mid-level melodic features, which are manually labelled by flamenco experts. Both approaches are then contrasted and combined into a global similarity measure. This similarity measure is assessed by inspecting the clusters obtained through phylogenetic algorithms and by relating similarity to categorization in terms of style. Finally, we discuss the advantage of combining automatic and expert annotations as well as the need to include repertoire-specific descriptions for meaningful melodic characterization in traditional music collections.

This is the result of a joint work of the COFLA group, where I am contributing with tecnologies for the automatic transcription and melody description of music recordings.

This is an example on how we compare flamenco tonás using melodic similarity and phylogenetic trees:


And this is a video example of the type of styles we analyze in this paper, done by Nadine Kroher based on her work at the MTG:

You can read the full paper online:

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Looking for a smart PhD student for next year

The Music Technology Group (MTG) of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona is opening a PhD fellowship in the area of Music Information Retrieval to start in the Fall of 2016.

Application closing date: 05/05/2016

Start date: 01/10/2016

Research lab:  Music Information Research lab, Music Technology Group, Department of Information and Communication Technologies, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Supervisor: Emilia Gómez

Duration: 3+1 years

Topics: automatic transcription, sound source separation, music classification, singing voice processing, melody extraction, music synchronization, classical music, computational ethnomusicology.

Requirements: Candidates must have a good Master Degree in Computer Science, Electronic Engineering, Physics or Mathematics. Candidates must be confident in some of these areas: signal processing, information retrieval, machine learning, have excellent programming skills, be fluent in English and possess good communication skills. Musical knowledge would be an advantage, as would previous experience in research and a track record of publications.

More information on grant details:
Provisional starting date: October 1st 2016

Application: Interested candidates should send a motivation letter, a CV (preferably with references), and academic transcripts to Prof. Emilia Gómez ( before May 1st 2016. Please include in the subject [PhD MIR].

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CANTE: Open Algorithm, Code & Data for the Automatic Transcription of Flamenco Singing

Over the last months, several journal publications related to our research on flamenco & technology are finally online.

One of them is a work with my former PhD student, Nadine Kroher (who now moved to Universidad de Sevilla), on the automatic transcription of flamenco singing. Flamenco singing is really challenging in terms of computational modelling, given its ornamented character and variety, and we have designed a system for its automatic transcription, focusing on polyphonic recordings.


The proposed system outperforms state of the art singing transcription systems with respect to voicing accuracy, onset detection, and overall performance when evaluated on flamenco singing datasets. We hope it think will be a contribution not only to flamenco research but to other singing styles.

You can read about our algorithm at the paper we published at IEEE TASP, where we present the method, strategies for evaluation and comparison with state of the art approaches. You can not only read, but actually try it, as we published an open source software for the algorithm, plus a music dataset for its comparative evaluation, cante2midi (I will talk about flamenco corpus in another post). All of this to foster research reproducibility and motivate people to work on flamenco music.





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FAST project: Acoustic and semantic technologies for intelligent music production and consumption

Yesterday I arrived from Paris, where I attended, as Advisory Board member, a meeting of the FAST Project (

FAST-IMPACT stands for “Fusing Acoustic and Semantic Technologies for Intelligent Music Production and Consumption” and it is funded by EPRSC, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Countil, UK with 5,199,944 £ (side note: OMG this is real funding, they should know at the new Spanish Agencia Estatal para la Investigación)

According to their web site, This five-year EPSRC project brings the very latest technologies to bear on the entire recorded music industry, end-to-end, producer to consumer, making the production process more fruitful, the consumption process more engaging, and the delivery and intermediation more automated and robust. It addresses three main premises:

(i) that Semantic Web technologies should be deployed throughout the content value chain from producer to consumer;

(ii) that advanced signal processing should be employed in the content production phases to extract “pure” features of perceptual significance and represent these in standard vocabularies;

(iii) that this combination of semantic technologies and content-derived metadata leads to advantages (and new products and services) at many points in the value chain, from recording studio to end-user (listener) devices and applications.

The project is leaded by Dr Mark Sandler, Queen Mary University of London, and include as project participants University of Nottingham (leaded by Dr. Steve Benford), University of Oxford (leaded by Dr. David Deroure), Abbey Road Studios, BBC R&D, The Internet Archives, Microsoft Research and Audiolaboratories Eerlangen.

The results for this first year are amazing, as it can bee seen on the web, in terms of publication, scientific and technological outcomes but more important, great and inspiring ideas!

I am honoured to be part of the advisory board with such excellent researchers and contribute to the Project as much as I can. Some photos of the meeting:



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Mujer, ciencia y tecnología

Recientemente he recibido bastantes noticias sobre mujeres en español e inglés, y he pensado ponerlas todas en un blog:

I have recently got many news about women and technology in spanish and english and I decided to start a blog on that. Feel free to follow!

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Media Monday

Last Monday I had the chance of speaking about my work and the PHENICX project at two different forums.

  • In the morning, I was interviewed at the program “Longitud de Onda”, Radio Clássica, Spanish National Radio (Radio Nacional de España):  “Cómo la tecnología nos acerca a la música clásica” – “How technology approaches us to classical music”
    You can hear the interview (in Spanish) at Min.16:20

¿Se imaginan que mientras asisten a un concierto pueden tener un programa de mano hecho a medida? Hoy hablamos de analizar la música para sacar provecho de esa información y diseñar programas o aplicaciones que hagan más accesible la música para todos.


  • In the evening, I was interviewed at the TV program l’Illa de Robinson, El Punt Avui TV. I presented the PHENICX project and how technologies can change the way we experience classical music concerts. You can check the video here.





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President-elect of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR)


Since January 1st I became the president-elect of the ISMIR. That means that I will be assisting the current president and I will become ISMIR president in two years.

I am very honoured to serve the community but it is a big responsibility! The current board was elected at last ISMIR (business meeting) and it includes colleagues around the world Fabien Gouyon as the current president, Eric J. Humphrey as secretary, Xiao Hu as treasurer, and Amélie AngladeMeinard Müller and Geoffroy Peeters and as board members.

For those who do not know, the International Society for Music Information Retrieval , as it appears on its website, is a non-profit organization seeking to advance the access, organization, and understanding of music information. As a field, music information retrieval (MIR) focuses on the research and development of computational systems to help humans better make sense of this data, drawing from a diverse set of disciplines, including, but my no means limited to, music theory, computer science, psychology, neuroscience, library science, electrical engineering, and machine learning. More formally, the goals of  ISMIR are:

  1. to foster the exchange of ideas between and among members whose activities, though diverse, stem from a common interest in music information retrieval,
  2. to stimulate research, development, and improvement in teaching in all branches of music information retrieval,
  3. to encourage publication and distribution of theoretical, empirical, and applied studies,
  4. to cooperate with representatives of other organizations and disciplines toward the furtherance of music information retrieval, and
  5. to support and encourage diversity in membership and the disciplines involved as a fundamental aspect of the society.

ISMIR was incorporated in Canada on July 4, 2008. It was previously run by a Steering Committee, and you can become a member by applying here.

The main activity of ISMIR is happening at the annual ISMIR conference, taking place in different countries worldwide (ISMIR 2015 was in Málaga and ISMIR 2016 will be in New York). In this graph published by ISMIR 2015 organizers, it can be noted that ISMIR is a well established conference with an attendance of 200 to 300 people and around 100 papers published in each edition.


Those papers have a great impact:  ISMIR is currently the 5th ranked publication in the “Multimedia” subcategory of “Engineering and Computer Science” and the 1st ranked in the “Music&Musicology” subcategory of “Humanities, Literature, and Arts“. 

If you cannot make it, you can Join the ISMIR Community group. Since its inception in 2000, the ISMIR community mailing list has grown into a forum of over 1,800 members from across the world, and routinely receives announcements about conferences, career opportunities, concerts, and wide variety of other issues relevant to music information retrieval.

My mains goals are to make ISMIR more accessible and interdisciplinary. I am also involved in the definition of an open access journal and I am particularly involved in WiMIR (I am in fact the first female president as far as I know). WiMIR is a group of people dedicated to promoting the role of, and increasing opportunities for, women in the MIR field. We meet to socialize, share information, and discuss in an informal setting, with the goal of building a community around women in our field. A photo of ismir 2014 meeting:


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Dones i TIC / Women & ICT award

Last week, I had the honour to be mentioned in the 2015 #12x12donatic awards to Women in Information & Technologies, in the category “research & academia”.

The goal of these awards is to recognize the role of women in professional, business and academic domains related to information and communication technologies.  They are organized by Tertulia digital, idigital, an initiative from the Catalan Government  for digital innovation, the observatory for women, entreprise and economy of Cambra de Commerç de Barcelona and Sinergia digital marketing.

In the speeches, all women were passionate about their work and  mentioned our wish that we won’t need prizes like that in the future as the women will be very present in everyday media. That’s why initiative such as Girls in Lab, promoting the interest of girls for technology, are so relevant. I had the chance to participate as a volunteer in a hackathon they organized at UPF with the following leit motiv:

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