Transforming Musicology: Looking to the future

Transforming Musicology held its final event on 8th December at Wolfson College Oxford. The workshop provided insights into future applications of digital technology from a range of international guest speakers, alongside a retrospective of research from Transforming Musicology and its mini-projects.

Videos of the presentations and discussion are collected in a YouTube playlist


10:30 Refreshments

Welcome to Wolfson College
David De Roure, Director of the Wolfson Digital Research Cluster

Introduction to Transforming Musicology
Tim Crawford, Principal Investigator


Towards formalization of music theory
Keiji Hirata

A brief summary of our research on formalizing the time-span tree of Lerdahl and Jackendoff’s Generative Theory of Tonal Music (GTTM).  Then, I will discuss how to partly restructure music theory in the context of machine learning and find a clue to computational music theory.


Digital editions for digital and vocal performers
Roy Howat

I explore this topic as an editor of several decades whose editions, so far, have mostly been prepared using digital technology but not yet published in electronic form. Initiatives such as Peters Edition’s TIDO prompt a shift to digital presentation in a range of sometimes unforeseen ways, beyond the mere presentation of editorial readings and data. This can support or facilitate elements I’ve hitherto sought to convey on paper; sometimes it can also prompt new editorial initiatives. Examples come mostly from Debussy and Fauré whose instrumental and vocal music has been the main object of my editing attention over the past decades (and my digital attention at the piano).

12:30 Lunch, with posters and demos

Introducing IRiMaS: Interactive Research in Music as Sound – Transforming Digital Musicology
Michael Clarke

This presentation will outline the aims and objectives of IRiMaS, a new 5-year project funded by an ERC Advanced Grant.  It will discuss the project in the context of previous work on Interactive Aural Analysis, and illustrate this with examples taken from the earlier AHRC-funded TaCEM project.


Musicological and creative applications for a new electronic music history corpus
Nick Collins

A collection of nearly 2000 works of historic electronic music from 1950-1999 has been gathered in this Transforming Musicology mini-project, and analysed through machine listening. The corpus is of benefit for musicological investigation of trends in electronic music, including research questions such as differentiating ‘art’ and ‘popular’ strands or male and female composers, as well as new creative possibilities: a live in-concert critic agent will be demoed.


RISM looking forward
Laurent Pugin

The Répertoire International des Sources Musicales (RISM) is a long-term collaborative effort that continuously needs to adjust itself to new possibilities but also new needs. In this talk I will outline some of the latest developments of the project and discuss future directions.

15:30 Refreshments, with posters and demos

Digital Musicology: Engagement and community building
Kevin Page & David Lewis

The Transforming Musicology project has acted as a catalyst for several events communicating and engaging with a wide community of digital musicologists. We will discuss some of these and place them in the broader context of embedding digital musicology into mainstream musicology teaching and practice.

16:20 Transforming Musicology?
An open discussion joined by Michael Clarke and Alan Marsden.
Chair: Tim Crawford

Posters and demonstrators

Tim Crawford, Searching the Early Music Online resource for musical similarities
David De Roure, Numbers into Notes: Digital Prototyping as Close Reading of Ada Lovelace’s ‘Note A’
Peter Jancovic, Computational analysis of ornamented Irish traditional flute music
David Lewis, Exploring Early Music through Linked Data
Kevin Page, A Toolkit for Live Annotation of Opera Performance: Experiences Capturing Wagner's Ring Cycle
David Weigl, A Framework for Distributed Semantic Annotation of Musical Score: “Take It to the Bridge!”