ISMIR Conference 2019 | Qhansa’s Story

Blog post by Qhansa Di’Ayu Putri Bayu, recent graduate of Telkom University, Indonesia

Hi Everybody!

In this blog post, I’m going to share my story related to the International Society for Music Information Retrieval (ISMIR) Conference 2019 in Delft, the Netherlands


For me, being part of the ISMIR community and attending the annual conference was like a dream come true! I’ve always been playing music since I was in junior high school, started with playing an acoustic guitar, and sing a little bit. But what I knew back then, music was just a hobby (except the professional musicians). 

If you want to watch me chatting around and see a little bit of The ISMIR Conference 2019 experience, you can view this video on my YouTube Channel: (Video Link)

Okay, back to the blog!

The Beginning

Getting a Bachelor’s degree in Informatics Engineering at Telkom University, Indonesia, somehow exposed my ability in music performance more. But at the same time, I still learned about technologies, coding, and artificial intelligence by joining the labs and organizations. 

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) was the first international organization that I joined. Although I wasn’t sure about my ability to volunteer and organize in this community, I was keen to learn new stuff, especially getting some global experiences. 

During my 6th Semester of college, I realized that I had to choose an undergraduate thesis related to artificial intelligence. I’ve joined the Artificial Intelligence (AI) Laboratory for two years and mostly took the elective courses from the Intelligence, Computing, and Multimedia (ICM) track. But the problem, the AI application that was available at that time, was only for image, video, text, and speech.

Suddenly, I got a random idea to search on the IEEEXplore about any AI research that related to audio (other than speech). Surprisingly, I found a 2006 paper called the “Automatic Mood Detection and Tracking of Music Audio Signals.” From that moment, I just felt like, “Okay, I think this research is pretty exciting for me!” Then, I decided to work on a topic called Music Emotion Classification for my undergraduate thesis.

How Did I Find The ISMIR Community?

Honestly, I forgot!

But what I remember, this is the chronology:

  1. In 2017, I joined the ISMIR Community Google Group.
  2. Then, there was an announcement called the Women in Music Information Retrieval Mentorship Program for 2018 from the Google Group, and I just applied to the program.
  3. In 2018, I got paired with Doga Cavdir, a PhD student from Stanford University, in the mentorship program. Although I had no idea about this field, this mentorship program helped me a lot to get started in Music Information Retrieval (MIR).
  4. Doga recommended me to go to the ISMIR Conference 2018 in Paris, but unfortunately, I couldn’t go. But at least, I knew that ISMIR is not only a community. They also hold a conference annually, where the students, researchers, and even industries can publish their research papers. 

How Did I (Finally) Make It to The ISMIR Conference 2019?

So, I have a funny story regarding the 2019 ISMIR Conference. 

In December 2018, after I realized that I couldn’t go to the 2018 ISMIR Conference, somehow, I was hoping that I can join the 2019 ISMIR Conference. But, when the 2019 year was starting, I even forgot that I wanted to go to the conference. So, I was only focused on doing my job while working in a company, creating videos, launching Qhansa.Lens Photography and Videography, making music, and many other activities.

But suddenly, in August 2019, the universe sent me to keep checking the ISMIR Conference 2019 website. And then, I realized that the organizers added one other financial support from the ISMIR Community, called the Community Grants


The Community Grants were offered to support several individuals who would like to attend ISMIR but who are not in the capacity to participate in the conference actively. For example, this may include:

  • former ISMIR members, who would like to re-engage with the community, but cannot trivially be supported for this given their current roles;
  • students and researchers with concrete potential to become a part of the ISMIR community in the future, but who currently are not in a sufficiently supportive context to act on this yet (e.g., because their institutes do not have clear MIR expertise, or they affiliate to neighboring disciplines, that do not have conference-oriented publishing cultures).

After that, I just submitted the application, motivation letter, and a recommendation letter from Blair Kaneshiro, one of the WiMIR organizers. *Thank you, Blair! 🙂

Then in September 2019, I got an email from the local organizer that I received the Community Grants for ISMIR 2019. I was surprised and happy at the same time! Even though it didn’t cover all of my expenses, but it helped me a lot to reduce my budget.

So, that’s my story!

Important Links and Resources

Now, I’m going to share some of the essential links and resources regarding the ISMIR Conference 2019 that I joined. 

1st Workshop on Designing a Human-Centric MIR System (Satellite Event)

2nd Women in MIR Workshop (Satellite Event)

ISMIR 2019 Tutorials

ISMIR Conference 2019 Papers, Presentations, and Posters

I hope this information can be useful and helpful for you!

Don’t forget to join the ISMIR Society at 🙂

See you next time!

Introducing the WiMIR Editorial team, and Issuing a Call for Contributions!

Women in Music Information Retrieval (WiMIR) is very excited to introduce the WiMIR Editorial Team! In this blog post, we introduce the team members, our goals, and most importantly, how you can collaborate with us!

Meet the 2020-2022 Team

Alia Morsi, Masters student in Sound and Music Computing at Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain. My current research interests are MIR for enhancing music education.

Giorgia Cantisani, PhD student in Audio Signal Processing at Télécom Paris, France. My current research interest is MIR, brain responses to music and source separation.

Kyungyun Lee, Masters student in Music and Audio Computing Lab at KAIST, South Korea. My current research interest is music performance generation and HCI.

Rui Guo, PhD Student in Music at University of Sussex, England. My current research is to generate symbolic music compositions by AI.

Saul Ivan Rivas Vega, Masters student at IIMAS of the UNAM, México. I’m interested in MIR using AI models as tools for performers and to generate autonomous compositions.


The WiMIR Editorial team is supervised by Blair Kaneshiro, PhD (Stanford University).

What are the team objectives? In a nutshell, our work revolves around:

  • Maintaining the WiMIR blog
  • Coordinating and managing community contributions, and presenting them in a meaningful way.

We strongly emphasize the second point, because in addition to posts that announce WiMIR initiatives, we would like to expand the blog’s content to include other types of interesting material, and in that we strongly encourage community involvement

Call for Contributions

Suggestions include the following ideas:

  • Reflection on a topic related to WiMIR mentoring (e.g., networking, work-life balance, jobs in industry or academia, applying to graduate school, dealing with sexism).
  • Reflection on personal experiences as a woman, underrepresented minority, or ally in MIR.
  • Review of a book, article, paper, or other resource related to mentoring or otherwise supporting diversity and inclusion.
  • Review of a conference, workshop, meetup, concert, or other event that is relevant to the aims of WiMIR.
  • Review of research, codebase, creative work, or other contribution by a woman or other underrepresented minority in MIR or related field.
  • Tips for newcomers to MIR as a research field and/or community.

But also, feel free to suggest more topics! Blog posts are contributions from community members, so this is where everyone can help.

  • If you would like to write a blog post, please submit a form with some initial info about your idea:  
  • If you have any topic ideas, feedback, or comments, please contact us at
  • Also, your support is important! So we hope you enjoy reading our posts and also sharing them with others who might be interested. In addition to the community driven blog posts, we will be publishing a set of interviews so stay tuned!