The Polifonia Ontology Network: Building a Semantic Backbone for Musical Heritage

Jacopo de Berardinis*, Valentina Anita Carriero, Nitisha Jain, Nicolas Lazzari, Albert Merono Penuela, Andrea Poltronieri, Valentina Presutti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the music domain, several ontologies have been proposed to annotate musical data, in both symbolic and audio form, and generate semantically rich Music Knowledge Graphs. However, current models lack interoperability and are insufficient for representing music history and the cultural heritage context in which it was generated; risking the propagation of recency and cultural biases to downstream applications. In this article, we propose the Polifonia Ontology Network (PON) for music cultural heritage, centred around four modules: Music Meta (metadata), Representation (content), Source (provenance) and Instrument (cultural objects). We design PON with a strong accent on cultural stakeholder requirements and competency questions (CQs), contributing an NLP-based toolkit to support knowledge engineers in generating, validating, and analysing them; and a novel, high-quality CQ dataset produced as a result. We show current and future use of these resources by internal project pilots, early adopters in the music industry, and opportunities for the Semantic Web and Music Information Retrieval communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Semantic Web – ISWC 2023 - 22nd International Semantic Web Conference, Proceedings
EditorsTerry R. Payne, Valentina Presutti, Guilin Qi, María Poveda-Villalón, Giorgos Stoilos, Laura Hollink, Zoi Kaoudi, Gong Cheng, Juanzi Li
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-47243-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-47242-8
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2023

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
Volume14266 LNCS
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


  • Knowledge Engineering
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Ontology


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