CVC and the UAB have digitalized player piano rolls from the National Library

May 6, 2016 at 9:09 am by


The National Library of Spain (BNE) has digitalized more than 1600 player piano rolls and transferred them to the Hispanic Digital Library (BDH) in collaboration with Telefónica, the Department of Art and Musicology of the UAB and the CVC.

Thanks to the collaboration between the CVC, the Department of Art and Musicology of the UAB, and Telefónica, more than 1600 player piano rolls have been digitalized and added to the catalogue of the Hispanic Digital Library using computer vision technologies.

A player piano roll is a format halfway between a recording and a music score, which makes it very unique among sound mediums; as it not only was an instrument that automatically played music, but also allowed “musical interaction” with the user. Player pianos were self-playing pianos that read music from perforated paper rolls and were considered one of the oldest music players in history.  In Spain, they became very successful between 1910 and 1930.

In order to digitalize the collection, the BNE has bet on a novel computer vision system that first uses Japanese techniques to restore damaged paper rolls and later digitalizes the musical content into MIDI, MP3, TIFF and JPEG formats which reflect the historical heritage of music and technology.

Click here to read details of the news on Lavanguardia.





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