The Relevance of Digital Humanities to the Analysis of late Medieval/Early Renaissance Music

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Dokumentart: ConferencePaper
Date: 2018-02-08
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Musikwissenschaft
DDC Classifikation: 004 - Data processing and computer science
780 - Music
Keywords: Musikwissenschaft , Digital Humanities , Musikalische Analyse , , World Wide Web , Musikpsychologie , Spätmittelalter , Renaissance
Other Keywords:
Nicholas Cook
computational musicology
big data
semantic web
music recognition
Ars subtilior
music encoding
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In a seminal publication on computational and comparative musicology, Nicholas Cook argued more than a decade ago that recent developments in computational musicology presented a significant opportunity for disciplinary renewal. Musicology, he said, was on the brink of new phase wherein “objective representations of music” could be rapidly and accurately compared and analysed using computers. Cook’s largely retrospective conspectus of what I and others now call digital musicology— following the vogue of digital humanities—might seem prophetical, yet in other ways it cannot be faulted for missing its mark when it came to developments in the following decade. While Cook laid the blame for its delayed advent on the cultural turn in musicology, digital musicology today—which is more a way of enhancing musicological research than a particular approach in its own right—is on the brink of another revolution of sorts that promises to bring diverse disciplinary branches closer together. In addition to the extension of types of computer-assisted analysis already familiar to Cook, new generic models of data capable of linking music, image (including digitisations of music notation), sound and documentation are poised to leverage musicology into the age of the semantic World Wide Web. At the same time, advanced forms of computer modelling are being developed that simulate historical modes of listening and improvisation, thereby beginning to address research questions relevant to current debates in music cognition, music psychology and cultural studies, and musical creativity in the Middle Ages, Renaissance and beyond.

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