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Digital Humanities in Early Music Research, 2021/1: OMR-capable chant editors

The digital humanities workshop series of the Old Myths New Facts projects is continuing in 2021 and in the virtual format. We are very happy to announce that the first workshop of this year’s edition. The goal of this workshop is to teach the participants how to use current software tools capable of optical music recognition for processing plainchant manuscripts. Hands-on work is planned!

The workshop has the following schedule:

March 17th (Wed), 4 - 5 PM CET: Large-scale OMR for neumes with Rodan (Ichiro Fujinaga, McGill U.)
March 18th (Thu), 4 - 5:15 PM CET: Making Rodan work for you (Martha Thomae, McGill U.)
March 19th (Fri), 4 - 6 PM CET: Collaborative digital editions with OMMR4All (Alexander Hartelt, Würzburg U.)

Abstracts of the individual sessions are below. It will take place via Zoom; as hinted by this invitation, the workshop will be held in English.

If you wish to participate, please register here:


(The form might look familiar to some of you by now.) If you register there, you'll get a Zoom link for the workshop to the email address you provide.

The workshop will be recorded and shared publicly. Please be aware that (1) your screen name may be recorded, (2) if you turn your camera on, your likeness may be recorded, (3) if you participate in the discussion, your voice may be recorded. The recording will be shared publicly on the project’s YouTube channel (in hopes that the workshop will as a side effect produce tutorials useful to future users of the OMR tools).

The workshop will be focused on creating digital editions of chant books with OMR-capable tools: the Rodan framework and OMR tools of the SIMSSA project, and the OMR4all platform of the Corpus Monodicum project. The aim of the workshop is to explain what these tools are, what they are capable of (and what they aren’t capable of, at least not yet), how they work and how to actually use them. The session will include hands-on work. The SIMSSA project tools will be presented by prof. Ichiro Fujinaga, the head of the project, and Martha Thomae, whom some of you know from last year’s DH workshop in June, where she led a practical session on MEI encoding. The OMMR4all tool will be presented by Alexander Hartelt, its current lead developer from the Corpus Monodicum project (and I will chip in with a few features that we have been working on together since the last DH workshop). Short abstracts are given below.

We hope you find the workshop interesting, and if you do, we are very much looking forward to seeing you at least on screen in 2021!


Workshop programme — abstracts

Session 1 (Talk): Large-scale OMR for neumes with Rodan
Ichiro Fujinaga, McGill University

March 17th (Wednesday), 4 PM — 5 PM CET

The overall goal of the Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis (SIMSSA) project is to develop a workflow for creating an infrastructure for a musical data discovery system. Here, we describe an online system for large-scale processing of neume music notation called “Rodan." The system converts the images of music manuscripts to a computer-readable format using optical music recognition (OMR) technologies.

Session 2 (Workshop): Making Rodan work for you
Martha Thomae, McGill University

March 18th (Thursday), 4 PM — 5:15 PM CET

In this second session about SIMSSA (Single Interface for Music Score Searching and Analysis), we will explore in more detail the technologies presented during the first session. We will see each of the OMR-related “jobs” available in “Rodan,” getting to know their settings, and how to interconnect these jobs to generate an MEI file which encodes the contents of a music manuscript. The goal of this workshop is for the audience to learn how to use these technologies for their own purposes.

Session 3 (Workshop): Collaborative digital editions with OMMR4All
Alexander Hartelt, Würzburg University
(and a little bit by Jan Hajič, Czech Academy of Sciences)

March 19th (Friday), 4 PM - 6 PM CET

OMMR4all is a web app for collaboratively creating digital facsimile editions of chant manuscripts in staff notation, with optical music recognition available as a part of the workflow. This workshop session is a hands-on tutorial that aims to teach participants how to efficiently use OMMR4all. We will walk through both manual and automated data entry workflows, show possibilities for collaboration, and demonstrate edition presentation features.