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Music, preserved through music notation, is undoubtedly a major component of Czech national identity and heritage, and while the digitization of these materials is ongoing, music notation is not processed in any way other than bibliographically in Czech libraries. The Moravian Library is the first Czech library to start transcribing the incipits (first few bars or notes) during catalogization of musical manuscripts and early prints, but existing library information systems do not support any further processing of musical information, and the musical incipit is insufficient for making the body of digitized music notation searchable. During the digitalization of music notation, only the scanned image is stored (at most, text on the page is processed with OCR). If there is music notation in a book or other unit that is not marked as a musical item, such music is not identified at all. Thus, at present, there is no way to search the music in the collections, in the manner enabled by OCR in text documents. Furthermore, there is no way to search for music (notation) in mixed media, such as periodicals.

The goal of the project is to automatically document, index, and make accessible musical cultural heritage recorded by means of music notation in Czech digital library collections. This goal requires implementing two interconnected functionalities for Czech digital library systems:

1) Search for musical notation,

2) Search in musical notation, and using musical notation.

This functionality requires automatically:

  • detecting regions containing music notation in digitized documents, and classify them according to notation type;
  • from the detected regions, extracting musical semantics (pitches, durations and onsets of encoded tones);
  • indexing the results in a database and implementing user-friendly flexible search in notation data;

and that these capabilities are deployed and made accessible in user interfaces, which are the technological goals of the project.