The SONHIS Project

Towards the recovery of the lost SOuNds of HISpanic chant

A comparative study of medieval chant through
computational recognition of neume and melodic patterns


The SONHIS project aims to take the first steps towards recovering the lost sounds of Hispanic chant, a repertoire with thousands of chants written with hundreds of thousands of adiastematic musical signs (neumes) which, as the current academic consensus states, do not encode sound pitches.

To carry out such a defiant task, SONHIS's transdisciplinary approach is based on the synergistic convergence of i) a well-established research group in the musicological field of Hispanic chant and ii) the methodological developments provided by a recent research initiative that addressed old unresolved musicological questions with innovative tools imported from other disciplines.

So SONHIS benefits, on the one hand, from the deep musicological knowledge of Hispanic sources by the team led by Prof. Carmen Julia Gutiérrez, Catedrática de Musicología at Universidad Complutense de Madrid) and PI of the National Project El Canto llano en la época de la Polifonía (2008-2018) which achieved, among other milestones, the assembly of the Database of Manuscripts of Early Spanish Music (SEMM).

On the other hand, SONHIS methodology, as illustrated in the different sections of this web, is largely based on the innovative research lines and tools of The Totmundo Project, a freelance innitiative developed by Francisco M. Camas, Ph.D. in Physics with postdoctoral experience at MIT in the fields of Genomics and Systems Biology.


  • Carmen Julia Gutiérrez: Team Coordinator and PI, Project Manager of SEMM.
  • Francisco M. Camas: Research Plan Co-leader, Methodology Developer, Webmaster.
  • Aside of its PI, members of the SEMM team incorporated to SONHIS are:
    • David Andrés Fernández: Curator of Cantorales de Cisneros's indexes, Coordinator of Processional Sources.
    • Raquel Rojo Carrillo: Coordinator of the Hispanic Sources.

  • SONHIS project has also been contributed by:
    • Pablo F. Cantalapiedra: Indexer of the León Antiphonary in SEMM.
    • OCR curators::
      • Francisco Javier Yera Martín, UCM pregraduate student.
      • Tatiana Toledano, UCM pregraduate student.
      • Graduate students of UCM's Master Universitario en Música Española e Hispanoamericana.
    • Livia Camprubí Bueno: Curator of biblical references in Cantorales de Cisneros's indexes.
  • M. Teresa Ruiz Coll: Technician.
  • Prof. Don Randel: Consultant.


We would like to thank Dr. Miguel Ángel López Fernández for sharing his transcriptions of selected chants from Cisneros's Cantorales, transcriptions that can be accessed on this website, and to the CEAP leader Prof. Emma Hornby for providing us with access to their database and for sharing the SVG neume shapes generated by her team.