The Project

Polifonia is a 3M€ project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme that will run from January 2021 until April 2024 to recreate the connections between music, people, places and events from the sixteenth century to the modern day. These findings will be available to everyone as an interconnected global database on the web – a knowledge graph – and will enhance our understanding of European musical heritage.

The Polifonia consortium is an interdisciplinary team of passionate researchers and music lovers: computer scientists, anthropologists and ethnomusicologists, historians of music, linguists, musical heritage archivists, cataloguers and administrators, and creative professionals.


Polifonia in numbers

  • Budget: 3,046,154 €
  • 10 Partners
  • 40 Months
  • 374 Person/Months
  • 8 Work Packages
  • 45 Tasks
  • 10 pilots
  • 58 deliverables
  • 4 Milestones
  • 5 Objectives


To provoke a paradigm shift in Musical Heritage preservation policies, management practice, research methodologies, interaction means and promotion strategies. Polifonia intends to achieve this goal by developing computing approaches that facilitate access and discovery of European Musical Heritage and enable a creative reuse of musical heritage at-scale..

The goal is to highlight the implicit knowledge linking Musical Heritage to the wider cultural heritage (including tangible assets), to engage both the general public and music domain experts in a consistent environment.


  • Memory institutions and providers of musical heritage resources.
  • Scholars in the musical heritage domain.
  • Maintainer of musical catalogues.
  • Music producers and artists.
  • Students and teachers.
  • People passionate about music and citizens.
  • Cultural & Creative industries.


Decentralised: it ensures its scalability and sustainability, hence maximising its probability of success.

Interdisciplinary: based on the interdependence of computer science with social sciences and humanities it allows us to identify specific scenarios within each area and extract the requirements for routing adoption.

Open source: it favours the creation of a digital ecosystem for the Musical Heritage community.

Validation-driven: ten pilots provide the requirements as well as a validation context for the project development


  • Semantic Web technologies and good practises to fill the FAIR gap in music data (knowledge graphs)
  • Novel Data Science methods to extract information on music patterns and music object intrinsic features to enrich Musical Heritage knowledge graphs
  • Linguistic corpora on Musical Heritage covering multilingual and multidisciplinary texts as well as texts from different centuries
  • Knowledge extraction techniques from text to extract structured data on cultural, social, and historical aspects of Musical Heritage, including tangible and intangible heritage assets, temporal and spatial entities
  • Innovative Human-Machine Interaction ways to study and experience Musical Heritage
  • Reproducible attractive live artistic installation.

Exploitation & Impact

  • Enhanced understanding of European Cultural Heritage
    Increased reuse of music data
  • Encouraged competitiveness between companies, by offering them large and interlinked knowledge graphs
  • Advanced methodologies in music-related research field
  • Increased cultural tourism and public engagement in cultural history
  • Improved preservation, protection and valorisation strategies for musical heritage

Project Timeline

Jan. 2024 – Polifonia ecosystem maturity level 3 (citizens)

Final release of Polifonia software packages and documentation. Project products are ready for reuse by developers and scholars and for supporting promotion to the wider public.

Mar. 2023 – Polifonia ecosystem maturity level 2 (scholars)

Second release of Polifonia software packages and documentation. Polifonia digital artistic installation released. Project products are ready for reuse by developers and scholars.

May 2024 – Project end

Apr. 2022 – Polifonia ecosystem maturity level 1 (devs)

First release of Polifonia software packages and documentation. Project products are ready for reuse by developers. Stakeholder network created.

Jun. 2021 – Project iterative live cycle kicked-off

Call for stakeholder network is out. Pilots started. Ecosystem publishing infrastructure configured and ready to use.

Jan. 21st, 2021 – Project Kick-off

Polifonia is a 3M€ project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 Programme. It will run until April 2024.