ISMIR 2009 – The Future of MIR

This year ISMIR concludes with the 1st Workshop on the Future of MIR.  The workshop is organized by students who are indeed the future of MIR.


09:00-10:00 Special Session: 1st Workshop on the Future of MIR

The PDF files of the papers in this special session are available at the f(MIR) official website. Welcome and Introduction to the f(MIR) workshop Thierry Bertin-Mahieux

MIR, where we are, where we are going

Session Chair: Amélie Anglade Program Chair of f(MIR)

Meaningful Music Retrieval

Frans Wiering – [pdf]

Wiering-fmir.pdf (page 2 of 3)


  • Some unfortunate tendencies:  anatomical view of music – a dead body that we do autopsies, time is the loser  Traditional production-oriented/
  • Measure of similarity: relevance, surprise
  • Few interesting applications for end-users
  • bad fit to present-day musicological themes
  • We are in the world of ‘pure applied research’ – no truth interdisciplinary between music domain knowledge and computer science.
  • Music is meaningful (and the underlying personal motivation of most MIR researchers).
  • Meaning in musicology – traditionally a taboo suject
  • Subjectivity:  an indivds. disposition to engage in social and cultural interactions
  • Meaning generation process – we have a long-term memory for  music –
  • Can musical meaning provide the ‘big story line’ for MIR?

The Discipline Formerly Known As MIR

Perfecto Herrera, Joan Serrà, Cyril Laurier, Enric Guaus, Emilia Gómez and Xavier Serra

Intro: Our exploration is not a science-fiction essay. We do not try to imagine how music will be conceptualized, experienced and mediated by our yet-to-come research, technological    achievements  and  music gizmos. Alternatively, we reflect on how the discipline should evolve to become consolidated as such, in order it may get an effective future instead of becoming, after a promising start, just a “would-be” discipline.Our vision addresses different aspects: the discipline’s object of study, the employed methodologies, social and cultural impacts (which are out of this long abstract because of space restrictions), and we finish with some (maybe) disturbing issues that could be taken as partial and biased guidelines for future research.

Herrera-fmir.pdf (page 2 of 3)

Notes: One motivation for advancing MIR – more banquets!

  • MIR is no more about retrieval than computer science is about computers
  • Music Information Retrieval – it’s too narrow
  • Music Information or Information about Music?
  • Interested in the interaction with music information
  • We should be asking more profound questions
    • music
    • content tresasures in short musical exceprts, tracks performances etc.
    • context
  • music understanding systems
  • Most metadata will be generated in the creation / production phase (hmm.. don’t agree necessarily, all the good metadata (tags, who likes what) is based on context and use which is post-hoc)
  • Instead of automatic analysis – build systems to help humans help humans
  • Music like water? or Music as dog!!! – a friend – companion –
  • Personalization, Findability
  • Music turing test

Good, provocative talk

Oral Session 2: Potential future MIR applications

Session Chair: Jason Hockman (McGill University), Program Chair of f(MIR)

Machine Listening to Percussion: Current Approaches and Future Directions – [pdf]

Michael Ward

Abstract: approaches have been taken to detect and classify percussive events within music signals for a variety of purposes with differing and converging aims. In this paper an overview of those technologies is presented and a discussion of the issues still to overcome and future possibilities in the field are presented. Finally a system capable of monitoring a student drummer is envisaged which draws together current approaches and future work in the field.


  • Challengs: Onset detection of isolated drum strokes
  • Onset detection and classification of overlapping drum sounds
  • Onset detection and classification in the presence of other instruments
  • Variability in Percussive sounds .  Dozens of criteria effect the sounds produced (strike velocity, angle, position etc.)
  • Future Research Areas
    • Extension of recognition to include the wide variety of strokes.  (open hh, half-open hh, hh foot splash etc)

MIR When All Recordings Are Gone: Recommending Live Music in Real-Time –  [pdf]

Marco Lüthy and Jean-Julien Aucouturier

Recommending live and short lived events. Bandsintown, Songkick, gigulate … pay attention to this paper.

Aucouturier-fmir.pdf (page 3 of 3)


  • Recommendation for live music in real-time
  • Coldplay -> free album when you get a  ticket to a coldplay concert – give away the music
  • NIN ->  USB keys in the toilet – which had strange recording on the file – strange sounds – an FFT of the sounds showed phone number and GPS coordinates – turned into a treasure hunt to a NIN nails concert.
  • Komuso Tokugawa – an avatar for a musiciaon in second life.  Plays in second life, twitters concert announcements (playing wake for Les Paul in 3 minutes)
  • ‘How do we get there in time?’
  • JJ walked through how to  implement a recommender system in second life
  • Implicit preference inferred from how long your avatar listens to a concert (Nicole Yankelovich at Sun Labs should look at this stuff)
  • Great talk by JJ – full of energy – neat ideas. Good work.


Poster Session

  • Global Access to Ethnic Music: The Next Big Challenge?
    Olmo Cornelis, Dirk Moelants and Marc Leman
  • The Future of Music IR: How Do You Know When a Problem Is Solved?
    Eric Nichols and Donald Byrd

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