Alliance between Music and Computer Science

Computers have become an indispensable tool for storing, processing, analyzing, and generating music. The field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR) is a relatively young research discipline with the object to develop technologies and interfaces that allow users to access and explore music in all its different facets. Being an interdisciplinary area, MIR brings together experts from a multitude of research and application fields ranging from information science, audio engineering, computer science, to musicology, music theory, and library science. Having a collaboration between the Max-Planck Institute für Informatik (MPII) and the Hochschule für Musik Saar (HFM), our goal is to establish a platform where computer scientists and musicians can explore and discuss the application of computer-based methods in music analysis, performance analysis, and music education.

The objective evaluation and comparison of various techniques is crucial for the scientific progress in applied fields such as music information retrieval. Here, the availability of common datasets are of foremost importance. One important goal of our collaboration is to generate royalty free music data without any copyright restrictions, which is freely available for research purposes. On this website we supply various types of music data recorded at the HFM. This data is referred to as Saarland Music Data (SMD). Besides usual music recordings (SMD Western Music), we also supply MIDI-audio pairs (SMD MIDI-Audio Piano Music). These pairs, which have been generated by using hybrid acoustic/digital pianos (Disklavier), constitute valuable ground truth material for various MIR tasks.


Since June 2009, there is an official cooperation between the Max-Planck Institute für Informatik (MPII) and the Hochschule für Musik Saar (HFM).

Data Collections

If you publish results obtained using these datasets, please cite:

Meinard Müller, Verena Konz, Wolfgang Bogler, Vlora Arifi-Müller: Saarland Music Data (SMD). In Late-Breaking and Demo Session of the 12th International Conference on Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR), 2011. [pdf] [bib]


International Audio Laboratories Erlangen (Prof. Dr. Meinard Müller)

Website and database maintenance Meinard Müller