Call for Papers

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The annual conference of the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) is the world’s leading research forum on processing, analyzing, searching, organizing and accessing music-related data. The 22nd ISMIR conference, to be held online, welcomes contributions related to any aspect of Music IR, including foundations and theories for music processing, evaluation algorithms, applications, and analysis.

Important Dates:

Time zone: Anywhere on Earth (AoE)

  • Abstract Submission: May 8, 2021
  • Final Submission: May 15, 2021
  • Notification of Acceptance: July 9, 2021
  • Camera-Ready Upload: August 2, 2021

There will be no extension to the submission deadlines. However, authors of registered papers on or before May 8th will be allowed to upload new versions of their papers until May 15th.

Special Call for Papers: Cultural Diversity in MIR

Music is often considered a universal language, yet different cultures have created diverse music traditions and colorful artifacts. To promote the cultural diversity of both MIR research and the ISMIR community, we are proud to announce a special call for papers on Cultural Diversity in MIR. Papers that investigate any topics listed in the Topics of Interest section (see below) and beyond, with a focus on non-Western music or cross-cultural studies, are welcome to submit to this themed track. To submit to this track, authors should check “Yes” for the question of this special call in the main submission form. These submissions should adhere to the submission guidelines and procedure described below; they will go through the same review process as the other submissions, with dedicated meta-reviewers who will be carefully chosen to oversee the review process. Accepted papers in this track will be presented in the same format as the other papers, with recognition on the conference website and the institution of a special paper award for the themed track.

Submission Guidelines

  • All submissions must comply with the following requirements:
  • Length (6+n pages): papers must contain at most 6 pages of scientific content (including figures and tables), with additional optional pages that contain only references and acknowledgments.
  • Templates: papers must be submitted in PDF format using the ISMIR 2021 templates (LaTex or Word). You may not manipulate the style files in any way.
  • File size: submitted PDF files must be at most 10MB in size. Please compress images and figures as necessary before submitting.
  • Originality: papers must be original contributions. They cannot have been published elsewhere nor currently submitted for publication anywhere else. All relevant work, including direct quotations from your own work, should be cited.


  • Submission system: We will use Microsoft CMT(Submission system opens on March 08, 2021).
  • Supplementary material: In addition to the PDF file of the manuscript, authors will be able to also upload supplementary files for their submission, such as audio samples, code or additional results. We strongly encourage authors to do this.
  • Main message: During submission, authors will be asked for ONE line of text stating the main take-home message of their work. This information will NOT be available to reviewers or meta-reviewers; it is intended to help organize cohesive sessions for the conference
  • Anonymity: ISMIR reviews are double-blind; authors and reviewers will be anonymous to each other. For the initial submission, please keep the author list from appearing in the text. Also, do not add any links/URLs that could reveal authors’ identity (e.g., to github pages). Likewise, make any self-citations in the third person, although self-citations should be kept to a minimum. Note that acknowledgments must not be included in the anonymized submission.
  • Preprints: to maintain the legitimacy for our double-blind review process, we strongly discourage authors from posting near duplicate manuscripts on public archives (technical reports, arXiv, etc.). In the same spirit, to protect our double-blind reviewing process, authors need to make sure they do not promote their work in any way during the review process (social media, blog, mailing-list, etc.), since this may prevent preserving anonymity.

Submissions that deviate from any of the above requirements will be automatically rejected.

Review Process

In order to ensure the quality of the papers published at the conference, all submissions will be evaluated according to the following criteria:

  • Novelty
  • Scholarly/scientific quality
  • Reusable insights
  • Thought-provoking potential
  • Appropriateness of topic
  • Importance
  • Presentation and readability

We especially call for submissions that explicitly discuss reusable insights, that is, insights that may go beyond the scope of the paper, domain or application, to build up consistent knowledge across the MIR community.

The reviewing workflow follows a two-tier model, i.e. with one level of “regular” reviewers, and another level of “meta-reviewers”. All papers are examined by at least three reviewers.

Accepted papers must be presented at the conference by one of the authors, and at least one of the authors must register before the deadline given for author registration (TBD). Failure to register before the deadline will result in automatic withdrawal of the paper from the conference proceedings and program.

Topics of Interest

ISMIR 2021 welcomes full-paper contributions to any aspect of Music IR. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

  • MIR fundamentals and methodology: music signal processing; symbolic music processing; metadata, tags, linked data, and semantic web; lyrics and other textual data, web mining, and natural language processing; multimodality.
  • Domain knowledge: representations of music; music acoustics; computational music theory and musicology; cognitive MIR; machine learning/artificial intelligence for music; computational ethnomusicology
  • Musical features and properties: melody and motives; harmony, chords and tonality; rhythm, beat, tempo; structure, segmentation, and form; representations of music; timbre, instrumentation, and voice; musical style and genre; musical affect, emotion and mood; expression and performative aspects of music.
  • MIR tasks: sound source separation; music transcription and annotation; music generation; optical music recognition; alignment, synchronization, and score following; music summarization; music synthesis and transformation; fingerprinting; automatic classification; indexing and querying; pattern matching and detection; similarity metrics;
  • Evaluation, datasets, and reproducibility: evaluation methodology; evaluation metrics; novel datasets and use cases; annotation protocols; reproducibility; MIR tasks.
  • Philosophical and ethical discussions: philosophical and methodological foundations; legal and societal aspects of MIR; ethical issues related to designing and implementing MIR tools and technologies.
  • Human-centered MIR: user behavior analysis and mining, user modeling; human-computer interaction and interfaces; personalization; user-centered evaluation.
  • Applications: digital libraries and archives; music retrieval systems; music recommendation and playlist generation; music and health, well-being and therapy; music training and education; music composition, performance, and production; gaming, augmented/virtual reality; business and marketing.

For additional information, you can reach the program chairs via email.

Best regards,

Scientific Program Chairs (Zhiyao Duan, Peter van Kranenburg, Juhan Nam, and Preeti Rao)