Welcome to Polifonia

Playing the soundtrack of our history

From the soundscape of Italian historical bells, to the influence of French operas on traditional Dutch music, European cultural heritage hides a goldmine of unknown encounters, influences and practices that can transport us to experience the past, understand the music we love, and imagine the soundtrack of our future. Polifonia will organise this journey by using ten pilot use cases as drivers, addressing preservation, management, study, and interaction with musical heritage.

Polifonia makes this happen by building novel ways of inspecting, representing, and interacting with digital content.

Memory institutions, scholars, and citizens will be able to navigate, explore, and discover multiple perspectives and stories about European 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.


The history of pipe organs is rich and diverse, and highly interrelated to economic, religious and artistic contexts. Currently, the information about building practices and characteristics of ~2000 Dutch…

Bell structures are widespread both in urban and rural areas. They contribute to the distinctive shape of a landscape, defining its soundscape and playing as markers of daily, festive and ritual times.…

In order to answer research questions, musical heritage scholars need to combine diverse datasets ranging from music scores, audiovisual material to metadata. They need to identify similar entities…

Music libraries currently lacks well-founded information retrieval tools. While it is relatively easy to find music based on metadata, content-based music retrieval still remains as a challenge. The Facets…

Tonalities is developing tools for the modal-tonal identification, exploration and classification of monophonic and polyphonic notated music from the Renaissance to the 20th century. The pilot has a broader…

The digital music collection of the Meertens Instituut (Amsterdam) includes thousands of melodies from Dutch popular culture, spanning a period of more than five centuries. To trace possible international…

In 2006 Bologna was declared by Unesco “City of Music”. Despite this, the extraordinary musical heritage of this city is kept in cultural institutions and archives, studied by a few specialized scholars…

This pilot will build a knowledge graph of the historical experience of music in childhood, using life writing (letters, diaries, memoirs, travel writing) and other historical texts as sources for adult…

This pilot focuses on supporting music historians and teachers by providing a Web tool that enables the exploration and visualisation of encounters between people in the musical world in Europe from c.1800…

The aim of this use case is to co-design, develop and evaluate wearable haptic technology to enable people who are Deaf or hearing impaired to engage as audience members in live performances.

Recent News

snapshot of Valentina Presutti presenting the Polifonia Knowledge Graph at Sonar

With its newly created demos, Polifonia showcased fascinating facets of discovering music similarity and music recommendations

On 28 October, Valentina Presutti presented the Polifonia demo and research at the new AI & Music…

2 November 2021
portrait of dr. Valentina Presutti

“Better knowing European (musical) heritage is crucial for strengthening the awareness of European citizens”, Dr. V. Presutti

‘Polifonia’ is a very interesting name for this project. Why did you choose it?   All…

4 February 2021

Third plenary presented the great achievements of Polifonia and the plans ahead

On 12-14 of January, the Polifonia third project meeting took place online and brought together the…

19 January 2022

The Caruso collection housed at ICBSA will unveil unknown stories of the great singer and the world’s first pop star

The Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage – ICBSA has recently launched a project on…

10 January 2022

Elena Musumeci and Chiara Veninata visited the 1000 years old Marinelli bell foundry

The village of  Agnone is a small Italian town in  Molise also known as “The city of bells”. Here,…

30 December 2021

Do you have a resource that you love that you would like to see again in ten years? Easy, add it to musoW

musoW is a collaborative project to catalogue music data sources on the Web (e.g. digital libraries,…

20 December 2021

Digital Paths is a digital agency that blends Communication, Technology and Design.

What is the relation between your organisation/institution and music?   Digital Paths is…

15 December 2021

ICBSA of the Italian Ministry of Culture has launched a cataloguing campaign of historic sound reproduction machines

The Central Institute for Sound and Audiovisual Heritage – ICBSA, in collaboration with the Central…

7 December 2021

Preserving the Italian cultural and musical heritage, ICCD and ICBSA together help to discover and promote the heritage of historical bells

What is the relation between your organisation/institution and music?  The Italian Ministry…

26 November 2021

ICCD and UniBo publish a new API to interoperate with ministry’s online catalogue

The community of Designers Italia and Developers Italia of the Department for Digital Transformation…

23 November 2021



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This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement N. 101004746