A semi-automated workflow paradigm for the distributed creation and curation of expert annotations

Abstract

The creation and curation of labeled datasets can be an arduous, expensive, and time-consuming task. We introduce a workflow paradigm for remote consensus-building between expert annotators, while considerably reducing the associated administrative overhead through automation. Most music annotation tasks rely heavily on human interpretation and therefore defy the concept of an objective and indisputable ground truth. Thus, our paradigm invites and documents inter-annotator controversy based on a transparent set of analytical criteria, and aims at putting forth the consensual solutions emerging from such deliberations. The workflow that we suggest traces the entire genesis of annotation data, including the relevant discussions between annotators, reviewers, and curators. It adopts a well-proven pattern from collaborative software development, namely distributed version control, and allows for the automation of repetitive maintenance tasks, such as validity checks, message dispatch, or updates of meta- and paradata. To demonstrate the workflow’s effectiveness, we introduce one possible implementation through GitHub Actions and showcase its success in creating cadence, phrase, and harmony annotations for a corpus of 36 trio sonatas by Arcangelo Corelli. Both code and annotated scores are freely available, and the implementation can be readily used in and adapted for other MIR projects.

Publication
Proceedings of the 22nd International Society for Music Information Retrieval Conference
Fabian C. Moss
Fabian C. Moss
Research Fellow in Cultural Analytics

Fabian C. Moss is a Research Fellow in Cultural Analytics at University of Amsterdam (UvA). He was born in Cologne, Germany, and studied Mathematics and Educational Studies at University of Cologne, and Music Education (Major Piano) and Musicology at Hochschule für Musik und Tanz, Köln. He obtained is PhD in Digital Humanities from École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Working with large symbolic datasets of musical scores and harmonic annotations, he is primarily interested in Computational Music Analysis, Music Theory, Music Cognition, and their mutual relationship.