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~ Dataset

The dataset we use is the sound archive of the department of Ethnomusicology of the Royal Museum for Central Africa at Tervuren, Belgium. The archive was digitized during the DEKKMMA project. More information about the dataset can be foun on the website of the DEKKMMA project:

The archive is a collection of sound recordings of traditional music from Central Africa, with a particular focus on Congo and Rwanda. The sound archive contains about 3,000 hours of music recordings, the oldest of which date from 1910: Edison cylinders recorded by Hutereau in the Uele-province in Congo.

The archive contains several sound carriers (Edison cylinders, Sonofil wire, magnetic tapes, audiocassettes, disks, CD’s …) with associated metadata (paper files) and contextual data (photographs, films, video’s, books, documents of all kind).

The collection was created during and after the colonial era of the Belgian Kingdom in Central Africa. The RMCA collection forms for an important part the musical memory of Central Africa and in terms of size, documentation and musical quality, it is – without any doubt – the world’s most important sound archive for this region.

Using the meta data we did a rough geocoding of each recording to create an interactive map of the dataset.

~ Boids 3D with Processing

~ Development and Application of MIR Techniques on Ethnic Music


The aim of this research project is to gain novel musicological insights into a large dataset of music from Central Africa. While practising ethnomusicological research on this dataset, we to develop and publish useful software and methodologies for the (ethno)musicological research community.

From November 2009 until November 2013 this research project was organised at the School of Arts, University College Ghent, under supervision by Olmo Cornelis. Later, from November 2013 onwards, the project turned into a 2 year doctoral research project hosted at IPEM, University Ghent under the supervision of Marc Leman.


Royal Museum For Central Africa University Ghent  Institute for Psychoacoustics and Electronic Music University College Ghent, Hogeschool Gent School of Arts, Ghent

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