Music Critical Editions (Music)

In tackling some of the issues that are currently being discussed in the realm of musicology, many other potential avenues of enquiry are opened up and opportunities for cross-disciplinary engagement with the subject become abundant. The role of the musical critical edition is one such area that clearly invites collaborations between information scientists, historians, imaging experts, textual scholars and musicologists. The approach would seem to lend itself very well to the sort of inclusive and cross-domain representations that Geraint Wiggins (Goldsmiths College) and others have referred to and there are ongoing discussions to try and define exactly what might be required by the definitive musical critical edition model. Wiering, Crawford and Lewis have proposed a ‘multidimensional model’ that they argue solves the problem of current editorial methods,

[quote]…by giving full access to as many source representations as one needs, by defining an edition as an adaptive layer on top of the sources, and by offering flexible generation and presentation of textcritical information.

Wiering, F., Crawford, T., Lewis, D., Digital Critical Editions of Music: A Multidimensional Model, Methods Network Expert Seminar: Modern Methods for Musicology, Royal Holloway, University of London, 3/3/2006. (http://www.methodsnetwork.ac.uk/redist/pdf/wiering.pdf)[/quote]
The preparation and presentation of materials for this type of multimedia production might involve quite a number of tools and techniques: from optical musical recognition tools such as Sharpeye, for the capture and encoding of music notation into MIDI and MusicXML formats; to high end applied analysis tools based on the MPEG-7 or Humdrum toolsets. Bearing in mind the potential for the inclusion of related textual and image material, there may well also be scope for the kind of text analysis tools familiar to literary and linguistics scholars or the methods used by the DIAMM project (http://www.diamm.ac.uk/) when dealing with representations of original scores.

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