Published November 22, 2019 | Version 1.1
Dataset Open

Melodic Features for Meertens Tune Collections and ESSEN Folksong Collection

  • 1. Meerten Instituut, Utrecht Universtiy


The Meertens Tune Collections (MTC) and the Essen Folk Song Collections include various data sets with melodic data. The melodies are provided in Humdrum **kern encoding and as MIDI sequences. In many cases, a representation of the melodies as sequences of feature values is needed rather than encoded scores. The present dataset provides such feature sequences. It is accompanied by a Python module that offers functionality to load and filter the sequences: MTCFeatures. The documentation of MTCFeatures contains a detailed description of the features.

The following melody collections are included:

  • MTC-ANN-2.0.1 - A small set of 360 richly annotated melodies from Dutch sources.

  • MTC-FS-INST-2.0 - A large set of c. 18 thousand melodies from Dutch sources.

  • ESSEN Folksong Collection - A set of more than 8 thousand folk song melodies mainly from Germany.

For more information on the contents of the Meertens Tune Collections, please visit

For the Essen Folk Song Collection, the features were extracted from the **kern files in the zip-archive as provided by the Center for Computer Assisted Research in the Humanities at Stanford University (


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Additional details


  • Van Kranenburg, Peter & Martine de Bruin & Louis P. Grijp & Frans Wiering. "The Meertens Tune Collections". Meertens Online Reports, No. 2014-1. Amsterdam: Meertens Instituut, 2014.
  • Van Kranenburg, Peter & Berit Janssen & Anja Volk. "The Meertens Tune Collections: The Annotated Corpus (MTC-ANN) Versions 1.1 and 2.0.1". Meertens Online Reports, No. 2016-1. Amsterdam: Meertens Instituut, 2016.
  • Van Kranenburg, Peter & Martine de Bruin. "The Meertens Tune Collections: MTC-FS-INST 2.0". Meertens Online Reports, No. 2019-1. Amsterdam: Meertens Instituut, 2019.
  • Van Kranenburg, Peter & Martine de Bruin & Anja Volk. Documenting a song culture: the dutch song database as a resource for musicological research. International Journal on Digital Libraries, 20(1):13–23, 2019.