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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.



The first Interim report has been submitted! While we didn't hit our stretch goals in data acquisition because we had to re-think our annotation infrastructure, the project is on track. Thankfully, we didn't have to make any changes to the project.

Two extended abstract from OmniOMR presented at the 5th WoRMS in Milan! Congratulations especially to our student Jonáš Havelka, whose work on autoencoders for music notation symbol generation, under the supervision of Jiří Mayer, made an impression. Thanks to our presence at WoRMS, we found potential international partners for collaboration i.a. on thesis supervision and data acquisition.

The OmniOMR demo API is available at

We are running a user study to determine UX priorities for the music search interface. If you are interested, contact Martina Dvořáková from the Moravian State Library (