Call for Music

As many of you might know, ISMIR will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2019. Since our community is centered around music and technology, we want to enrich this anniversary with a joint musical-technical performance, thereby also taking up the nice spirit of our conferences, jam sessions, late-breaking/demos, and hackathons!

To include as many people as possible, we want to compile a video performance entitled "Variations on ISMIR", which will be shown during ISMIR 2019 and published online later. As basis, we choose Mozart's famous Variations on the French song "Ah, vous dirai-je maman" (K. 265), the theme of which is also well-known as a children or christmas song ("Twinkle, twinkle little star" ...). These variations go back to the first ISMIR in 2000, and a score excerpt of this piece served as the first ISMIR logo (see attachment). The full history is described in the 10 years anniversary paper by Downie et al. (Section 2.1):

For convenience, we compiled some public data (creative commons license) of this piece in two performances (audio), score pdf, and MIDI in the following github repository:

You can build upon this piece in various ways. Ideally, we want to see many ISMIR faces in the visual part, hear nice music, and see both ISMIR people and MIR technology in action! Also, the fun/entertainment aspect is of major importance... To give you some ideas, you could for example show ... - your company band jamming a heavy-metal version of the piece - your score-following algorithm losing its reinforcement-learning game - your research group playing an Indian Raga-style improvisation on the theme - your OMR algorithm failing on the hand-written facsimile score - your audio-audio alignment system struggling to synchronize all 12 variations simultaneously - ...

Please note that there is no opportunity to explain your concept, so the main idea (technology, people, relationship to the original piece) should be directly clear from watching the video itself.

In order to make this a compact piece, we strongly encourage you to produce your contributions on the GROUP level. So, for example, you could prepare something as a university/department, as a research group, as a group of all MIR-fellows in a city or country, or as a team from an industry player in our field. The length of your video should rouhgly follow the duration of one Mozart variation (~40 seconds), but at maximum be 1 minute.

Fitting our anniversary, we restrict the total number of variations to 20. Therefore, please send us a short concept for your planned variation via email to . Please include a title, names of authors/performers, and a short description of the content/concept/idea. In case of too many submissions, we then select from these and send you a notification.

Important Deadlines:

  • Submission of concept/idea : June 1, 2019 June 14, 2019
  • Notification of acceptance: June 15, 2019
  • Submission of final video: Sept 15, 2019

We are looking forward to many interesting and entertaining contributions!

Martin Gasser & Christof Weiss
ISMIR 2019 music chairs