Tutorial offered at the 19th International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference in Paris, France, on September 23rd, 2018.

Teachers: Xavier Serra, Martin Clayton, Barış Bozkurt


The main goal of this tutorial is to present an overview of computational analysis applied to non-Western music traditions, and within this context, also discuss the role of a musicological perspective in Music Information Retrieval. 

We present some of the relevant problems and challenges for the analysis of some non-Western music traditions that have been studied from an MIR perspective. Then we go over some specific research problems and present data and tools to work on them. While we focus on a few culture-specific MIR tasks for our demonstrations, we will also discuss other open research problems that can be studied using these datasets and tools. This tutorial should serve as a quick start for students and researchers without prior experience in analysis of non-Western music and provides them a good entry point for further investigation.


  • Introductory presentations (Xavier, Martin, Baris) [30 min.] [slides]
  • Musicological perspective (Martin) [30 min.] [slides]
  • Corpus-based research (Xavier, Baris) [30 min.] [slides]
  • Rhythm analysis (Martin, Baris) [30 min.] [slides]
  • Tuning analysis (Baris) [30 min.] [slides]
  • Closing remarks (Xavier) [10 min.] [slides]
  • Open discussion [20 min.]


  • CompMusic project website: http://compmusic.upf.edu/
  • M. Clayton (2000). Time in Indian Music: Rhythm, metre, and form in Noth Indian rag performance. Oxford University Press. 
  • X. Serra (2017). “The computational study of a musical culture through its digital traces.” Acta Musicologicahttp://hdl.handle.net/10230/32302
  • B. Bozkurt, R. Ayangil, and A. Holzapfel (2014). "Computational Analysis of Turkish Makam Music: Review of State-of-the-Art and Challenges." Journal of New Music Research". http://hdl.handle.net/10230/25935

Corpora and datasets

Software tools