Tag Archives: music information retrieval

Human and Machine Intelligence: a Music Information Retrieval perspective

I had the honor to be invited as keynote speaker at the International Conference on Computational Creativity 2020. The conference took place in a virtual format given the health emergency situation. In my talk, I discussed on the different motivations for music information retrieval, the paradigm shift from knowledge-driven to data-driven systems, the main challenges of this field of research and its impact on society.

It was an interesting experience to give a virtual keynote. First, it was a lot of work to prepare for the keynote, including recording the video properly at home. In addition, I missed the experience of seeing people’s faces and expression when listening to your talk. This visual feedback is really important to see how people react to the different parts of your talk. And I missed the travel and visit to beautiful Coimbra. Virtual events also have positive sides, as the confort of speaking at home, accessibility for anyone in the world to follow on streaming, and all energy saved by people not travelling to sites.

You can watch it in youtube! Any comment or feedback is welcome.

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My last day as ISMIR president

This is my last day as ISMIR president. I am very proud of how our community has managed to establish ISMIR as a leading forum for music information research. I joined the board in 2014, became president-elect in 2016 and president in 2018. My main motivations have always been to contribute to strengthen scientific quality, inclusive spirit and diversity. During these years, I have witnessed the origins and impulse of TISMIR and WiMIR, the consolidation of ISMIR location alternating between Europe, America and Asia, and the evolution of the MIR field including the involvement of industry in our community, changes of on topics and MIR-related disciplines, as reflected in its 20th anniversary edition.

But, among all, I have had the privilege to meet great researchers and people in a community I now considered a bit as my family. I want to thank all excellent board members and colleagues I had the chance to work with. I do not have enough space to express my gratefulness.

Now it is my time to take a break from scientific service, which is sometimes exhausting and no so well recognised. However, I will keep my compromise as TISMIR co-editor in chief, WiMIR mentor and PC member, and hopefully as an ISMIR author for many years. I am sure the next president and board will do a great job and I wish them all the best to face the main challenge I foresee: how to keep ISMIR spirit (single track conference), scientific insights, inclusion and diversity in a deep learning world.


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Help us in our study on perceived emotions of pop/rock music by English, Spanish, German, and Mandarin speakers

En castellano debajo! 

Juan Sebastian Gómez-Cañón, one of the PhD students working with me at the Music Information Research Lab of the MTG, is leading a study on the relation between the emotions perceived in pop and rock music and the language the listener speaks. To participate, please visit the following links depending on your mother tongue: English, Spanish, German, and Mandarin. In case that none of these languages is native to you, you can still participate by filling the English version (it takes around 20-25 minutes to complete it). Please follow the instructions carefully to guarantee your comprehension, correctness, and overall enjoyment! You can stop at any time and continue later as long as you keep the volume at the same level.

At the end of this survey and as a small thank you for your time, we will provide your Music Sophistication Index, which measures your ability to engage with music, as defined by Müllensiefen et al. (2014). The results of this research will also be available to you in our project website.

Thank you!


Juan Gómez-Canón, con el  cual trabajo en el laboratorio de Music Information Research del MTG (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona) está llevando a cabo un estudio sobre la relación entre las emociones percibidas en música pop/rock y el lenguaje. Agradeceríamos mucho vuestra participación rellenando un formulario que requiere entre 20-25 minutos y que se basa, fundamentalmente, en escuchar música e indicar la emoción percibida en cada caso. El formulario está disponible en Inglés, Español, Alemán y Mandarín (en caso que vuestra lengua materna no sea ninguna de esas podéis participar usando la versión en inglés). Es importante seguir las instrucciones cuidadosamente para garantizar la correcta comprensión de los ítems planteados. Podéis parar en cualquier momento y continuar después, siempre y cuando se mantenga el mismo volumen al escuchar la música .

Al final de esta encuesta y como una pequeña muestra de agradecimiento por vuestro tiempo, os entregaremos vuestro Music Sophistication Index, que mide la habilidad de involucrarse con la música, tal y como se definió en Müllensiefen et al. (2014). Los resultados de esta investigación también estarán disponibles para la página web del proyecto.


¡Muchas gracias!


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TISMIR Journal Launch and Call for Papers

I am blogging some news related to a project I have been recently contributing.

It brings us great pleasure to announce the launch of the first issue of TISMIR, the Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrievalhttps://transactions.ismir.net/

TISMIR was established to complement the widely cited ISMIR conference proceedings and provide a vehicle for the dissemination of the highest quality and most substantial scientific research in MIR. TISMIR retains the Open Access model of the ISMIR Conference proceedings, providing rapid access, free of charge, to all journal content. In order to encourage reproducibility of the published research papers, we provide facilities for archiving the software and data used in the research. The TISMIR publication model avoids excessive cost to the authors or their institutions, with article charges being less than the ISMIR Conference registration fee.

The first issue contains an editorial introducing the journal, four research papers and one dataset paper:

Editorial: Introducing the Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval – Simon Dixon,  Emilia Gómez,  Anja Volk

Multimodal Deep Learning for Music Genre Classification – Sergio Oramas,  Francesco Barbieri,  Oriol Nieto,  Xavier Serra

Learning Audio–Sheet Music Correspondences for Cross-Modal Retrieval and Piece Identification – Matthias Dorfer,  Jan Hajič jr.,  Andreas Arzt,  Harald Frostel,  Gerhard Widmer

A New Curated Corpus of Historical Electronic Music: Collation, Data and Research Findings – Nick Collins,  Peter Manning,  Simone Tarsitani

A Case for Reproducibility in MIR: Replication of ‘A Highly Robust Audio Fingerprinting System’ – Joren Six,  Federica Bressan,  Marc Leman

Pop Music Highlighter: Marking the Emotion Keypoints – Yu-Siang Huang,  Szu-Yu Chou,  Yi-Hsuan Yang

Two more papers (one research paper and one overview paper) are in press.

Authors:  We look forward to receiving new submissions to the journal – please see the Call for Papers below.

Best Regards
Simon Dixon, Anja Volk and Emilia Gómez

Editors-in-chief, TISMIR


The ISMIR Board is happy to announce the launch of the Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (TISMIR), the open-access journal of our community.


TISMIR (http://tismir.ismir.net) publishes novel scientific research in the field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), an interdisciplinary research area concerned with processing, analysing, organising and accessing music information. We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines, including computer science, musicology, cognitive science, library & information science, machine learning, and electrical engineering.


TISMIR is established to complement the widely cited ISMIR conference proceedings and provide a vehicle for the dissemination of the highest quality and most substantial scientific research in MIR. TISMIR retains the Open Access model of the ISMIR Conference proceedings, providing rapid access, free of charge, to all journal content. In order to encourage reproducibility of the published research papers, we provide facilities for archiving the software and data used in the research. TISMIR is published in electronic-only format, making it possible to offer very low publication costs to authors’ institutions, while ensuring fully open access content. With this call for papers we invite submissions for the following article types:

Article types

Research articles must describe the outcomes and application of unpublished original research. These should make a substantial contribution to knowledge and understanding in the subject matter and should be supported by relevant experiments.

Overview articles should focus in detail on specific aspects of MIR research. Overview articles will provide a comprehensive review of a broad MIR research problem, a critical evaluation of proposed techniques and/or an analysis of challenges for future research. Papers should critically engage with the relevant body of extant literature.

Datasets should present novel efforts in data gathering and annotation that have a strong potential impact in the way MIR technologies are exploited and evaluated.


If the paper extends or combines the authors’ previously published research, it is expected that there is a significant novel contribution in the submission (as a rule of thumb, we would expect at  least 50% of the underlying work – the ideas, concepts, methods, results, analysis and discussion – to be new). In addition, if there is any overlapping textual material, it should be rewritten.


Review process

The journal operates a double-blind peer review process.  Review criteria include originality, consideration of previous work, methodology, clarity and reproducibility.


Publication frequency

The journal is published online as a continuous volume and issue throughout the year, following an open access policy. Articles are made available as soon as they are ready to ensure that there are no unnecessary delays in getting content publicly available.


Editorial team

Editors in Chief

Simon Dixon, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom

Emilia Gómez, Music Technology Group, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona, Spain

Anja Volk, Department of Information and Computing Sciences, Utrecht University, Netherlands

Editorial Board

Juan P. Bello, Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, & Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, New York University, United States

Arthur Flexer, Austrian Research Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI), Austria

Fabien Gouyon, Pandora, United States

Xiao Hu, Faculty of Education, Division of Information & Technology Studies, University of Hong Kong

Olivier Lartillot, Department of Musicology, University of Oslo, Norway

Jin Ha Lee, Information School, University of Washington, United States

Meinard Mueller, International Audio Laboratories Erlangen, Germany

Geoffroy Peeters, Sound Analysis/Synthesis Team, UMR STMS IRCAM CNRS, France

Markus Schedl, Department of Computational Perception, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria


Reviewers: The editorial board counts on reviewers from the ISMIR community, who are crucial to the success of the journal. To become a reviewer, please register here http://tismir.ubiquitypress.com/author/register/reviewer/

Journal Manager

Tim Wakeford, Ubiquity Press, United Kingdom






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Keynote speech @ 2018 Joint Workshop on Machine Learning for Music – ICML


I am honored to be keynote speaker at a joint workshop on Machine Learning for Music that will take place this summer in Stockholm. I spent part of my PhD in KTH in Stockholm and it became one of my favourite places, so it is always great to visit. T

In my keynote, I presented some current research of our lab on the analysis and synthesis of singing. In particular, we summarized some recent advances on a set of tasks related to the processing of singing using state-of-the-art deep learning techniques. We discussed their achievements in terms of accuracy and sound quality, and the current challenges, such as availability of data and computing resources. We also discussed the impact that these advances do and will have on listeners and singers when they are integrated in commercial applications.

There is paper related to this research which can be found in arxiv.


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Interview at ACM SIGMM Records and the need for interdisciplinary research

The March Issue (Vol.10, Issue 1) of ACM SIGMM Records (News for the Multimedia Community) is out and it includes an interview of myself for the interdisciplinary column, kindly chaired by Cynthia Liem and Jochen Huber.

It is awesome already that there is an interdisciplinary column at SIGMM, recognising the challenges and also the potential of interdisciplinary research and insights as a way to have a comprehensive understanding, in this case, of multimedia computing. I was very pleased to ask questions about my experience in the MIR field and about diversity and interdisciplinarity.

You can read the interview and other interesting content here.

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New open-access journal Transactions of ISMIR, open for submissions

I am happy to announce that the International Society for Music Information Retrieval launched the Transactions of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval, the open access journal of the ISMIR society at Ubiquity press. I am serving as Editor-in-Chief, together with Simon Dixon and Anja Volk.

TISMIR publishes novel scientific research in the field of music information retrieval (MIR).

We welcome submissions from a wide range of disciplines: computer science, musicology, cognitive science,  library & information science and electrical engineering.

We currently accept submissions.

View our submission guidelines for more information.


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Journal paper and open dataset for source separation in Orchestra music

As part of the PHENICX project, we have recently published our research results in the task of audio sound source separation, which is the main research topic of one of our PhD students, Marius Miron.

During this work, we developed a method for orchestral music source separation along with a new dataset: the PHENICX-Anechoic dataset. The methods were integrated into the  PHENICX project for tasks as orchestra focus/instrument enhancement. To our knowledge, this is the first time source separation is objectively evaluated in such a complex scenario. 

This is the complete reference to the paper:

M. Miron, J. Carabias-Orti, J. J. Bosch, E. Gómez and J. Janer, “Score-informed source separation for multi-channel orchestral recordings”, Journal of Electrical and Computer Engineering (2016))”

Abstract: This paper proposes a system for score-informed audio source separation for multichannel orchestral recordings. The orchestral music repertoire relies on the existence of scores. Thus, a reliable separation requires a good alignment of the score with the audio of the performance. To that extent, automatic score alignment methods are reliable when allowing a tolerance window around the actual onset and offset. Moreover, several factors increase the difficulty of our task: a high reverberant image, large ensembles having rich polyphony, and a large variety of instruments recorded within a distant-microphone setup. To solve these problems, we design context-specific methods such as the refinement of score-following output in order to obtain a more precise alignment. Moreover, we extend a close-microphone separation framework to deal with the distant-microphone orchestral recordings. Then, we propose the first open evaluation dataset in this musical context, including annotations of the notes played by multiple instruments from an orchestral ensemble. The evaluation aims at analyzing the interactions of important parts of the separation framework on the quality of separation. Results show that we are able to align the original score with the audio of the performance and separate the sources corresponding to the instrument sections.

The PHENICX-Anechoic dataset includes audio and annotations useful for different MIR tasks as score-informed source separation, score following, multi-pitch estimation, transcription or instrument detection, in the context of symphonic music. This dataset is based on the anechoic recordings described in this paper:

Pätynen, J., Pulkki, V., and Lokki, T., “Anechoic recording system for symphony orchestra,” Acta Acustica united with Acustica, vol. 94, nr. 6, pp. 856-865, November/December 2008.

For more information about the dataset and how to download you can access the PHENICX-Anechoic web page.

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¿Pueden los hombres diseñar tecnologías relevantes para las mujeres? El ejemplo en las aplicaciones para la música

Justo antes de vacaciones tuve la oportunidad de escribir un post informal sobre el tema de género gracias a la invitación de MujerTekSpace, un proyecto liderado de la Universidad de Deusto donde se intenta mejorar la visibilidad de la mujer en la ingeniería.

Aquí podéis leer el post publicado, pero lo copio a continuación en su versión extensa, ya que empecé a escribir y se me hizo demasiado largo…


Desde hace algún tiempo veo a más y más personas preocupadas porque hay pocas mujeres en ingeniería: hay pocas ya en los primeros cursos de la carrera y van quedando menos que hagan el doctorado o lleguen a lo alto de la pirámide profesional (altos cargos directivos o catedráticas). Yo personalmente me he convertido poco a poco en una acérrima defensora de la mujer en la ingeniería, en particular en la investigación y el desarrollo tecnológico.

Mi preocupación fundamental es la siguiente: ¿Cómo será el mundo del futuro si las tecnologías que utilizaremos son investigadas, desarrolladas y evaluadas mayoritariamente por hombres?

Como ejemplo pongamos mi comunidad de investigación: la International Society for Music Information Retrieval (www.ismir.net) (sociedad internacional para la recuperación de la información musical), la cual tengo el honor de presidir (primera presidenta electa por cuestiones estadísticas, como luego verán), formada por investigadores de todo el mundo. Nuestra comunidad está relacionada con compañías punteras hoy en día como shazam, spotify, iTunes, soundcloud (https://soundcloud.com/), deezer (http://www.deezer.com/) BMAT o pandora (¡no las pulseras sino la radio por internet!), empresas que configuran el panorama comercial en sistemas de recomendación de música. Seguro que tienen algunas de éstas aplicaciones en sus ordenadores o teléfonos móviles.

Un estudio que se presentará éste Agosto en la conferencia de Nueva York, y que ha sido liderado por Xiao Hu, investigadora de la Universidad de Hong Kong (Hu et al. 2016), constata la desigual distribución por género (14.7% mujeres vs 85.3%) de autores de artículos científicos a lo largo de los años. De hecho son muy pocas mujeres las que presentan oralmente en la conferencia, y en los últimos 3 años todas las ponencias invitadas las han dado hombres.


Además, tanto en nuestro proyecto de mentorías para mujeres como en el panel industrial de la conferencia, hemos podido constatar que la proporción de mujeres es incluso menor en la industria que en la investigación, posiblemente dado que las condiciones laborales son más favorables para la conciliación. Esto parece confirmar que las pocas mujeres que hay se dedican a una investigación que está menos en contacto con el producto.

En el lado positivo, éste estudio refiere que las mujeres más productivas lo son igual que los hombres, que las tendencias no varían entre continentes, que las mujeres que están en grupos de investigación grandes tienen más impacto, y que trabajan en entornos más aplicados, aunque lejos de un producto, lo que parece indicar que la interdisciplinariedad puede proporcionar entornos más diversos en la ingeniería.

Con éstos datos, yo diría que podemos afirmar que nuestras aplicaciones musicales están siendo diseñados por el género masculino, con las consecuentes barreras para la mujer, ya que se incorporan inconscientemente decisiones de diseño no equilibradas. ¿Puede ser que por eso éstas tecnologías no son tan atractivas para la mujer? ¿Puede eso explicar en parte por qué las niñas de hoy en día se sienten poco atraídas por el entorno tecnológico?

Supongo que es algo general en otro tipo de aplicaciones (por ejemplo videojuegos, televisión digital, tecnologías del automóvil o revistas online). Imaginemos entonces que en el futuro pase algo como nos ocurre a los zurdos: ¿será el futuro un mundo donde no podrás cortar bien un papel o tendrás dificultades para abrir una lata de conservas, pero en el dominio digital?

Esperemos que podamos poner remedio antes.

Sobre la autora

Emilia Gómez

Soy el típico caso del bicho raro, como casi todas las mujeres de mi ámbito: una de las dos mujeres que eligió dibujo técnico en mi promoción, una minoría en ingeniería de telecomunicaciones, una de las dos mujeres de mi promoción en el máster en Acústica, Procesado de Señal e Informática Musical del IRCAM en Paris, la única doctoranda hasta ahora de mi director de tesis y la única profesora de mi grupo de investigación. También soy la primera mujer presidenta electa de la ISMIR (International Society in Music Information Retrieval), y la primera en muchas otras cosas, no por ser muy buena sino por cuestiones estadísticas. De hecho soy a menudo una mujer dando clase a un grupo de hombres. Y además soy zurda.


Hu, X., Choi, K., Lee, J. H., Laplante, A., Hao, Y., Cunningham, S. J., Downie, J. S. (2016). WiMIR: An Informetric Study on Women Authors in ISMIR. In Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR).


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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.

https://i0.wp.com/mtg.upf.edu/system/files/imagecache/projects_tech_thumbs/projects/Logo.jpgHumans 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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