DHOxSS Digital Musicology


A wealth of music and music-related information is now available digitally, offering tantalizing possibilities for digital musicologies. These resources include large collections of audio and scores, bibliographic and biographic data, and performance ephemera -- not to mention the 'hidden' existence of these in other digital content. With such large and wide ranging opportunities come new challenges in methods, principally in adapting technological solutions to assist musicologists in identifying, studying, and disseminating scholarly insights from amongst this 'data deluge'.

This workshop provides an introduction to computational and informatics methods that can be, and have been, successfully applied to musicology. Many of these techniques have their foundations in computer science, library and information science, mathematics and most recently Music Information Retrieval (MIR); sessions are delivered by expert practitioners from these fields and presented in the context of their collaborations with musicologists, and by musicologists relating their experiences of these multidisciplinary investigations.

The workshop comprises of a series of lectures and hands-on sessions, supplemented with reports from musicology research exemplars. Theoretical lectures are paired with practical sessions in which attendees are guided through their own exploration of the topics and tools covered. Laptops will be loaned to attendees with the appropriate specialised software installed and preconfigured.


Time Title Speakers
Mon 4 July
11:00 - 11:15 Overview of Digital Musicology Workshop Kevin Page
11:15 - 11:30 Roundtable introduction from attendees Chair: Tim Crawford
11:30 - 12:00 Digital Musicology: a personal perspective Tim Crawford
12:00 - 12:30 An Introduction to Music Information Retrieval: musicological implications J. Stephen Downie
14:00 - 16:00 Hands on: Using computers to analyse recordings: An introduction to signal processing Chris Cannam and Ben Fields
16:30 - 17:00 Hands on: Using computers to analyse recordings: Practical feature extraction for musicology Chris Cannam and Ben Fields
17:00 - 17:30 Using computer analyses to index and find recordings: Feature search and retrieval Ben Fields
Tue 5 July
11:00 - 12:30 Big Data and Other Digital Strategies for Historical Musicologists Stephen Rose
14:00 - 16:00 Training computers automatically to recognise patterns in recordings Practical machine learning Ben Fields and J. Stephen Downie
16:30 - 17:30 Methods for analysing large-scale resources and big music data Tillman Weyde
Wed 6 July
11:00 - 12:00 Representing musicological knowledge on the Web using Linked Data Kevin Page
12:00 - 12:30 An overview of software and data management best practice David M. Weigl and Richard Lewis
14:00 - 16:00 Digitised Notated Music: hands on with MEI and MusicXML Richard Lewis, David Lewis, and David M. Weigl
16:30 - 17:30 Web-scale analysis of music: lessons from the SALAMI project: "Experiences in ground truth, big data, and structural analysis" David De Roure and J. Stephen Downie
Thu 7 July
11:00 - 12:00 Historical musicology and digital cataloguing: achievements and possibilities Joanna Bullivant
12:00 - 13:00 Introduction to Computer-aided Music Psychology; see also Intonation in unaccompanied singing Klaus Frieler
14:30 - 16:00 Computer processing of digital notated music: hands on with music21 Working with symbolic music data Richard Lewis, David Lewis, and David M. Weigl
16:30 - 17:30 Computer processing of digital notated music: hands on with music21 Working with symbolic music data (cont.) Richard Lewis, David Lewis, and David M. Weigl
Fri 8 July
11:00 - 12:00 A case study in Early Music: From digitisation to musicological research Tim Crawford, David Lewis, Kevin Page, and David M. Weigl
12:00 - 12:30 Describing music performance and interpretation: digitally researching Wagner and the leitmotif Carolin Rindfleisch, Kevin Page, and David M. Weigl
12:30 - 12:45 A toolkit for live annotation of opera performance: experience capturing Wagner's Ring Cycle Kevin Page, Carolin Rindfleisch, and David M. Weigl
14:00 - 15:00 The challenges and opportunities of finding music and music scholarship in the 4.6 billion pages of the HathiTrust Digital Library J. Stephen Downie
15:00 - 16:00 In Concert: towards a collaborative digital archive of musical ephemera. Videos: Linked Data; Geographical analysis; Network analysis; Matching and linking Rachel Cowgill
16:30 - 17:30 Round table discussion: applied digital musicology in your research Rachel Cowgill, Tim Crawford, Ichiro Fujinaga, David Lewis, Kevin Page, and Carolin Rindfleisch


The hands-on sessions of the workshop made use of a variety of software which was supplied to the students on specially customised laptops. All of the software used is free software and is also available free of charge online.

Sonic Visualiser
Vamp plugins
  • https://www.python.org/
  • Several of the tools used require Python
  • We used version 2.7 (rather than 3.4)
  • Python comes pre-installed with Mac OS
  • For Windows, see the download page
VamPy Host