CfP 7th International Conference on Digital Libraries for Musicology (DLfM 2020)
A satellite event of ISMIR 2020

More information:

Friday 16 October 2020
Schulich School of Music, McGill University
Montréal, Canada

The Digital Libraries for Musicology (DLfM) conference presents a venue for those engaging with Digital Library systems and content in the domain of music and musicology. It provides a forum for musicians, musicologists, librarians, and technologists to share findings and expertise.


We are calling for paper submissions in two tracks: a ‘proceedings’ track for short and full papers; and a ‘Trompa Challenge’ track for position papers proposing novel ways of bringing libraries and archives to home users. Details of both are provided below. Proceedings will be published in ACM ICPS, and we expect this to be an Open Access publication.


While Digital Libraries have long offered facilities to provide multimedia content, the requirements of systems for library music are complex. The many forms taken by musical data, the needs for connections between these, and the importance of scholarly and historical contextual information all require special care to support meaningful engagement with the materials.

The Digital Libraries for Musicology (DLfM) conference presents a venue specifically for those working on, and with, Digital Library systems and content in the domain of music and musicology. This includes Music Digital Library systems, their application and use in musicology, technologies for enhanced access and organisation of musics in Digital Libraries, bibliographic and metadata for music, intersections with music Linked Data, and the challenges of working with the multiple representations of music across large-scale digital collections such as the Internet Archive and HathiTrust.

DLfM focuses on the implications of music for Digital Libraries and Digital Libraries research, especially when pushing the boundaries of contemporary musicology through the application of techniques such as reported in more technologically-oriented fora such as ISMIR and ICMC.

This, the seventh DLfM conference follows previous workshops in The Hague, Paris, New York, Shanghai, Knoxville and London. We are proud to be a satellite event of the annual International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) conference for the fifth time, an association that encourages reflection on the use of MIR methods and technologies within Music Digital Library systems when applied to the pursuit of musicological research.


    - to act as a forum for reporting, presenting, evaluating and disseminating work combining technology with musicology through Digital Library systems;

    - to critically evaluate the operation of Music Digital Libraries and the applications and findings that flow from them;

    - to re-evaluate existing Music Digital Libraries, particularly in light of the transformative methods and applications emerging from musicology, large collections of both audio and music-related data, ‘big data’ method, and MIR;

    - to explore how digital libraries and digital musicology can combine to offer richer online access to online music collections;

    - to set the agenda for work in the field to address these new challenges and opportunities.


Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

    - Building and managing digital music collections
        - Optical music recognition
        - Information literacies for Music Digital Libraries
        - Data quality assessment
    - Access, interfaces, and ergonomics
        - Interfaces and access mechanisms for Music Digital Libraries
        - Identification/location of music (in all forms) in generic Digital Libraries
        - Musical corpus-building at scale
        - Techniques for locating and accessing music in very large Digital Libraries (e.g. HathiTrust, Internet Archive)
        - Mechanisms for combining multi-form music content within and between Digital Libraries and other digital resources
        - User information needs and behaviour for Music Digital Libraries
    - Musicological knowledge
        - Music data representations, including manuscripts/scores and audio
        - Applied MIR techniques in Music Digital Libraries and musicological investigations using them
        - Extraction of musical concepts from symbolic notation and audio data
        - Metadata and metadata schemas for music
        - Application of Linked Data and Semantic Web techniques to Music Digital Libraries, and for their access and organisation
        - Ontologies and categorisation of musics and music artefacts
    - Improving data for musicology
        - Digital Libraries which enrich public access to music, music-cultural, and music-ephemera material online
        - Digital Libraries in support of musicology and other scholarly study; novel requirements and methodologies therein
        - Digital Libraries for combination of resources in support of musicology (e.g. combining audio, scores, bibliographic, geographic, ethnomusicology, performance, etc.)


Papers for each track will be peer reviewed by 2-3 members of the programme committee. For accepted submissions on either track, at least one author must register for the conference (as a presenter) by 11 September 2020.

Please produce your paper using the ACM template and submit it to DLfM on EasyChair by 31st July 2020 (see IMPORTANT DATES).

All submitted papers must:

    - be written in English;
    - contain author names, affiliations, and e-mail addresses;
    - be formatted according to the ACM SIG Proceedings template, using a Type 1 font no smaller than 9pt;
    - be in PDF format (please ensure that the PDF can be viewed on any platform), and formatted for A4 size.

Page limits for submitted papers apply to all text, but exclude the bibliography (i.e. references can be included on pages over the specified limits).

The ACM now uses a partially-automated workflow, which supports multiple-format publication and more accessible articles. Authors will need to follow carefully the instructions at

It is the authors’ responsibility to ensure that their submissions adhere strictly to the required format. Submissions that do not comply with the above requirements may be rejected without review.

Please note that at least one author from each accepted paper must attend the conference to present their work (this may be physical or virtual—see COVID-19 CONTINGENCIES below).


Contact email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Proceedings track submissions

We invite full papers (up to 8 pages excluding references) or short papers (up to 4 pages excluding references). Authors of accepted submissions to these tracks are expected to submit corrected, camera-ready copies, which must be received by 11 September. ‘Proceedings track’ papers will be published in ACM ICPS.

Trompa Challenge submissions

Most of us will by now have experienced the frustrations and rewards of carrying out musical research in a domestic environment, with access to neither the physical nor the technical resources of libraries and labs. The Trompa Challenge solicits short position papers that address questions of how musicological materials can be made more accessible and useful to home users at all levels. Submissions should be up to 2 pages long.

Trompa Challenge papers will be peer reviewed and presented at the conference as a poster, a lightning talk, or part of a panel. Challenge papers will not be included in the main DLfM proceedings, but will be compiled into a supplement hosted on the conference website. At least one author must register to attend the conference by 11 September.


In light of the extraordinary circumstances presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the DLfM Steering Committee is regularly reviewing and updating plans to ensure a successful conference in 2020.

At the current time (May 2020) we continue preparations for a DLfM 2020 conference with a physical component in Montréal, Canada, on 16 October 2020. The health and safety of DLfM participants is paramount, and our programme and venue will be adjusted to comply with social distancing guidance. We recognise that some authors and attendees may be unable to travel in October due to COVID-19, and will ensure they are able to join the conference virtually.

As the wider situation evolves, we remain attentive to the possibility of a fully virtual conference and, should this prove necessary, have prepared contingency plans according to a range of potential logistical and financial ramifications. In the meantime, authors should be reassured that:

    - DLfM 2020 proceedings will be published as a volume of ACM ICPS, whether the conference is a physical, virtual, or hybrid event;
    - all accepted proceedings track papers will be included in our ACM proceedings, whether presented physically or virtually;
    - all accepted papers will need to have a registered presenter (physical or virtual) by the camera-ready deadline, in line with the usual rules and timetable;
    - presenting authors should assume an attendance fee of approximately $70-100 USD (in May 2020: 95-140 CAD / 65-95 EUR) for physical and virtual attendance;
    - attendance fees will be kept to a minimum, however a fully virtual conference may necessitate fees at the higher end of this range and/or removal of the open access version of the proceedings;
    - virtual attendees should assume the conference will continue to be aligned with the timezone of Montréal, Canada (EDT).

We will confirm arrangements for the conference by 28 August 2020 (the acceptance notification date) at the latest. Updates will be emailed directly to authors of submitted papers and posted to the DLfM 2020 website.

DLfM COVID-19 Steering Committee: David Lewis (Goldsmiths University of London), Kevin Page (University of Oxford), David Rizo (Universidad de Alicante).

If you have any additional concerns or queries, please contact us via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

More information:

IMPORTANT DATES (Please note: These dates can not be extended)

Abstract submission deadline: 24 July 2020 (23:59 UTC-11)
Paper submission deadline: 31 July 2020 (23:59 UTC-11)
Notification of Acceptance: 28 August 2020
Camera-ready submission deadline: 11 September 2020
Conference: 16 October 2020


Programme Chair
David Lewis, Goldsmiths University of London

General Chair
David Rizo, Universidad de Alicante. Instituto Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas de la Comunidad Valenciana

Proceedings and Publicity Chair
Gabriel Vigliensoni, Goldsmiths University of London / McGill University

Local Chairs
Audrey Laplante, Université de Montréal
Ichiro Fujinaga, McGill University

Programme Committee
    - Alessandro Adamou, The Open University
    - Islah Ali-Maclachlan, Birmingham City University
    - Claire Arthur, Georgia Institute of Technology
    - Houman Behzadi, Marvin Duchow Music Library, McGill University
    - Jorge Calvo-Zaragoza, Universidad de Alicante
    - Estefanía Cano, Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT
    - Rafael Caro Repetto, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
    - Tim Crawford, Goldsmiths University of London
    - Julie E. Cumming, McGill University
    - Cécile Davy-Rigaux, IReMus
    - Teresa Delgado, Biblioteca Nacional de España
    - Reinier De Valk, Moodagent A/S
    - Jürgen Diet, Bavarian State Library
    - J. Stephen Downie, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    - Loukia Drosopoulou, The British Library
    - Timothy Duguid, University of Glasgow
    - Francesca Giannetti, Rutgers University
    - Xiao Hu, The University of Hong Kong
    - José M. Iñesta, Universidad de Alicante
    - Kjell Lemström, University of Helsinki
    - Cynthia Liem, Delft University of Technology
    - Joshua Neumann, University of Florida
    - Kevin Page, University of Oxford
    - Laurent Pugin, RISM Switzerland
    - Amelie Roper, Cambridge University Library
    - Sertan Şentürk, Universitat Pompeu Fabra
    - Raffaele Viglianti, University of Maryland
    - David Weigl, Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien
    - Frans Wiering, Utrecht University

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