CompMusic, Computational Models for the Discovery of the World's Music, is a research project funded by the European Research Council and coordinated by Xavier Serra from the Music Technology Group of the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona (Spain). The funding for the ERC will run from 2011 to 2017.
CompMusic is focused on the advancement in the field of Music Information Research by approaching a number of current research challenges from a culture specific perspective. We are developing information modelling techniques of relevance to several non-Western music cultures and in the process we are contributing to the overall field of MIR.
We study five music cultures: Hindustani (North India), Carnatic (South India), Turkish-makam (Turkey), Arab-Andalusian (Maghreb), and Beijing Opera (China). The research team includes members from each of the cultures being studied.
Within the field of MIR there are many research problems that can benefit from a culture specific perspective. CompMusic focuses on the extraction of features from audio music recordings related to melody and rhythm, and on the semantic analysis of the contextual information of those recordings. The goal is to characterize culture specific musical facets of each repertoire and to develop musically meaningful similarity measures with them.
The research in CompMusic is data driven, thus it revolves around corpora. We have been constructing a research corpus for each music tradition. The types of data gathered are mainly audio recordings and editorial metadata, which are then complemented with descriptive information about the items we have, and in some cases with music scores and/or lyrics.
In order to evaluate our research results we have defined a user scenario and have developed a complete system-level application with which users can interact and with which we can evaluate most of the research results from a user perspective. The system we are developing is called Dunya, which is a web-based application to explore the gathered music collections. It is aimed at music connoisseurs of the particular music traditions. It uses the technologies developed for melodic and rhythmic description to navigate through the audio recordings and through the other information items available in a particular collection database. This navigation promotes the discovery of relationships between the different information entities.
The major dissemination strategy of CompMusic is to be open about everything we do; sharing our ideas, goals and results as openly and widely as we can. All our publications are available as soon as they are written, all our code is open source, and all the data we generate is available under open licenses.
CompMusic wants to challenge the current Western centered information paradigms, advance our information technology research, and contribute to our rich multicultural society.