The MuNIR project aims at contributing to SSH research in the digital age by serving the s earch & analysis needs of humanities scholars who work on m usic notation, musical heritage, and the analysis of musical language as it changes over time. To this end, we plan to conduct a coordinated research program devoted to the search and analysis of music that has been encoded into representative symbolic music format (scores), and to the development of collections and tools to demonstrate the practicalimpactofourworkandto disseminateourresults.Theprojectaimstoanswertwoclosely related questions:
1. Given a very large collection of music scores, how can we organize it to make its access easier and faster? How can we find and communicate the structure and principles of the music
language implicitly encoded in its notation? What methodologies and tools can help to make
sense of large and complex music scores?
leverage their collections of digitized music scores, as well as their studies on music heritage?
To address the first question, we will develop a research activity focused on information retrieval and analysis challenges: This covers structures and algorithms for searching (including by content), extraction of structural or semantic information, and production of highlevel descriptors (metadata) that will help to group similar music scores, to classify them according to genre, style or composer, or to discover recurring patterns.
This research endeavour will be completed by a development and dissemination effort to address the second question. Our goal is to design and implement a framework providing a reference architecture for search & analysis platforms on large collections of music scores, along with open source software packages to quickly implement such systems. This will strongly encourage the creation of applications to provide musicologists all over the world with easy access to large collections and interfaces that support sophisticated analytic methods.
The main result of the project will be a framework to create digital music score libraries encoded in the MEI format, fully equipped with advanced search and analysis tools. This framework will be used, as a proof of concept, for the digital libraries respectively developed by McGill and Cnam. In the long term, our methodology and tools will contribute to the emergence of large and publicly accessible music score collections, equipped with navigation and exploration tools, matching, in terms of public and free dissemination of human knowledge and heritage, the results currently achieved for textual corpora.