'Transforming Musicology: Looking to the Future'

'Transforming Musicology: Looking to the Future'

Transforming Musicology held its final event on 8th December at Wolfson College Oxford, where project researchers were joined by guests from the national and international music scholarship community.

The workshop was organised by Professor Tim Crawford (Goldsmiths University of London) and Centre researchers Dr Kevin Page and David Lewis, and hosted through the Centre's collaborative partnership with the Wolfson Digital Research Cluster, of which Professor David De Roure is Director.

Transforming Musicology was one of three large grants funded by the AHRC Digital Transformations theme. Led by Professor Crawford, the project was a collaboration between the Oxford e-Research Centre and Queen Mary University of London between 2013 and 2017. Through ten topics and mini-projects, it explored how emerging technologies for working with music as sound and score can transform musicology, both as an academic discipline and as a practice outside universities.

The project's final event provided both a retrospective of research from Transforming Musicology and its mini-projects, alongside insights into future applications of digital technology from a range of international guest speakers.

Highlights included:

  • Dr Roy Howat (Royal Academy of Music) illustrating the possibilities offered by digital editions at the piano
  • Professor Michael Clarke (University of Huddersfield) showing computational tools for the aural analysis of music
  • Professor Keiji Hirata (Future University Hakodate, pictured below) with a formalization of the time-span tree for the Generative Theory of Tonal Music
  • Dr Nick Collins (Durham University) demonstrating a live critical analysis of his electronic music performance, and
  • Dr Laurent Pugin (RISM Switzerland) on the digital documentation of worldwide music sources.






Centre researchers Kevin Page and David Lewis led a session reflecting on the emergence of a Digital Musicology community, which the project has supported through the Digital Libraries for Musicology workshop and the annual Digital Musicology workshop at the Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School. This included a discussion of how digital methods might be incorporated in undergraduate and postgraduate curricula in the future, culminating in a panel session on the future of Digital Musicology as a field.

Contributions to Transforming Musicology from the e-Research Centre were reported by David De Roure, David Lewis, and Kevin Page, who variously presented posters on 'Numbers into Notes', 'Exploring Early Music through Linked Data', and 'Experiences Capturing Wagner's Ring Cycle'. Centre researcher Dr David Weigl presented work from the complementary Fusing Audio and Semantic Technology (FAST) project on 'A Framework for Distributed Semantic Annotation of Musical Score'.

The results of Transforming Musicology will feed directly in two new projects at the e-Research Centre: Digital Delius, working with Professor Dan Grimley in the Faculty of Music and the British Library; and Unlocking Musicology, which will start in the New Year.

Further information about Transforming Musicology can be found on the project website. Videos from the event are now available.