Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

'EthnoCatalogue: creating semantic descriptions of Slovene folk song and music based on melodic and metro-rhythmic analysis

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.04.00  Humanities  Ethnology   

Code Science Field
H400  Humanities  Folklore 
folkloristic research, folk song and music, music information retrieval (MIR), text, melody, melodic and metrorhythmical strucutures, semantics
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (16)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  30062  PhD Ciril Bohak  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  182 
2.  02268  PhD Saša Divjak  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  676 
3.  08191  PhD Marjetka Golež Kaučič  Ethnology  Head  2008 - 2011  501 
4.  16131  PhD Alenka Kavčič  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  139 
5.  04019  PhD Marija Klobčar  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  428 
6.  26012  PhD Mojca Kovačič  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2009  304 
7.  14493  PhD Drago Kunej  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  394 
8.  15677  PhD Matija Marolt  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  401 
9.  25649  PhD Marjeta Pisk  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2008 - 2011  165 
10.  13526  PhD Marko Privošnik  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  43 
11.  27582  Anja Serec Hodžar    Technical associate  2008 - 2011  72 
12.  23347  PhD Gregor Strle  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 - 2011  67 
13.  19466  PhD Urša Šivic  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  414 
14.  04042  PhD Marko Terseglav  Ethnology  Researcher  2008 - 2011  471 
15.  32209  PhD Jerneja Vrabič  Ethnology  Junior researcher  2010 - 2011  16 
16.  29109  Janez Franc Vratanar  Computer science and informatics  Researcher  2008 
Organisations (2)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0618  Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts  Ljubljana  5105498000  63,143 
2.  1539  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Computer and Information Science  Ljubljana  1627023  16,696 
The basic research starting point of the EthnoCatalogue project is the folklore and ethnomusicological research on the verse, melodic, rhythmic, and metric features of Slovenian folk poetry. These features expose an important regularity at a high correlation between the syllabic stress structure of the verse and the rhythmic and melodic structure of the tune: a specific type of verse in a poem has a number of musical rhythmizations available, while a high percentage of the melodies of a particular rhythmic model belong to just one melody family or, in some cases, 100% to just one melody type. On the basis of a more detailed analysis of these structural elements we can, for example, establish the degree of similarity between individual melody types that can later be classified in larger melody families, or sort melodies according to different historic and style layers. These findings are presented in the GNI catalogue in the forms of melody and metric/rhythmic classification based on a special coding system of a symbolic representation of the text and melodic structure. The EthnoCatalogue project aims to include more recent research from new technologies, especially those related to automatically obtaining information from musical sound recordings and the semantic interrelation of contents. The semantic treatment of sound recordings is problematic because their musical features are not directly evident. That is also why part of this research deals with the methods for automatically mapping the melodic structure and metric/rhythmic pattern onto the sound recording, which will enable us to automatically obtain semantic descriptions of sound recordings (especially melody and rhythm). The other part of this research will be dedicated to measuring the similarities of both semantic descriptions obtained this way and direct analysis of non-structuralized sound recordings. The objective of this research is to use machine-learning techniques to reveal the structure, rules, and relations between the archival records from the semantic descriptions and directly from the characteristics which derive from the sound, regardless of the metric/rhythmic analysis results and genre classifications. The comparison of the obtained structures with the established classifications can result in new findings about the contents in the digital archive. The results will enable broader research into the melodic and metric/rhythmic rules of Slovenian folk songs and folk music, and the application of music information retrieval methods to the genre and typological content classification in the EtnoMuza digital archive, which will represent a great advance in semantically interrelating the archive’s contents. Due to the large amount and variability of the material, proper material visualization methods should be developed. This research will be oriented towards developing proper visualization techniques for presentation on the basis of parameters that include geographic, historical, and content features of the material.
Significance for science
The EthnoCatalogue project is introducing innovative research methodology that is based on the close interdependence of folklore and ethnomusicological research and current IT and communication technology research. The starting assumption of the project is that broader and more systematic research into the internal rules and interconnections of text and melodies in folk songs is only possible through the use of modern technologies; that is, through researching techniques for obtaining content from musical sound recordings. This kind of research is very current at the moment on a global scale, with the emphasis on sorting out the issue of semantic connections in content, which are strongly connected to the context of the particular area. This is why the proposed studies are already in and of themselves specific and innovative: they are specific in that they look at the internal structure or rules of Slovenian folk songs and Slovenian culture in general (which also has certain characteristics different from other European cultures), innovative in their approach and connection of research areas. The goal of this research is to determine the structure, rules, and relations in folk songs and folk music, to expose conceptual relations and enable semantic representation of content in the EthnoMuse digital archive. Comparison of existing strucures can also lead us to new recognitions of content, analyzed directly from the sound recordings. The outcomes of this research will allow broader study of the melodic and metric/rhythmic rules governing Slovenia folk songs and folk music, and an applicable method of music information retrieval in genre and typological classifications. Therefore, this research can open up new vistas and approaches to studying Slovenian immaterial culture. Indirectly, the research will also assist in more and better use of modern technologies that up until now have mostly been favored by younger researchers in folklore and ethnomusicological research.
Significance for the country
EthnoCatalogue is a continuation of our efforts to develop methods for semantic representation of multimedia content, with the ultimate goal of allowing visualization, presentation, and semantic searching on various levels (with respect to the user’s capabilities and requirements), as well as interaction with various types of multimedia content in the EthnoMuse digital archive. The collections maintained in the EthnoMuse represent the fundamental basis for folkloristic and ethnomusicological research, while at the same time they are also a unique record of Slovenian cultural heritage. From perspective of latter, the elements of research are more broadly connected to an overall concept: preservation of the original and digital material, stimulation of innovative and comparative research by using technologies and methods developed in the projects, e-learning, integration in the broader, European academic research and cultural context, and the presentation of Slovenian cultural heritage to wider audience. Thus, the project will contribute to developing understanding of humanity, national identity, and recognition, as well as to familiarity with contemporary Slovenian history and preservation of its wealth of cultural heritage, which is one of the priorities in the national research and development program. The folk culture is, after all, the most specific expression of the “character” of a nation, so the project is also relevant to current questions regarding the Slovenian identity in the European context.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, 2009, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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