Staff detection with stable paths

Jaime dos Santos Cardoso, Artur Capela, Ana Rebelo, Carlos Guedes, Joaquim Pinto da Costa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The preservation of musical works produced in the past requires their digitalization and transformation into a machine-readable format. The processing of handwritten musical scores by computers remains far from ideal. One of the fundamental stages to carry out this task is the staff line detection. We investigate a general-purpose, knowledge-free method for the automatic detection of music staff lines based on a stable path approach. Lines affected by curvature, discontinuities, and inclination are robustly detected. Experimental results show that the proposed technique consistently outperforms well-established algorithms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1134-1139
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2009


  • Document image processing
  • Image analysis
  • Music
  • Optical character recognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Applied Mathematics


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