CFP: Symposium for Digital Musicology

1 September 2017
Senate House W1CE 7HU London UK

Symposium for Digital Musicology is a one day event that aims to bring together scholars from various musicological fields and computer scientists in order to generate a discussion about digital musicology – an interdisciplinary field in which new technologies are applied to musicological research. Digital techniques have been used more often within humanities in fields outside of musicology, for example in palaeography, history, art history, and many others. The field of digital musicology remains an active field with research done by computer scientists and programmers who have built a broad range of tools that could be used by musicologists and ethnomusicologists, but these tools do not usually meet their potential on this side of the research spectrum. These digital tools could both be timesaving and provide opportunities to new methodologies (e.g. big data, timbral analysis, automated transcription, etc.).One aim of this symposium is to find out why there seems to be a reluctance for musicologists to ‘go digital.’ Moreover, the symposium aims to explore what opportunities there are for musicologists when it comes to new digital technologies, and in which ways these can support innovative ways of research, and how musicologists are already employing these methods. It aims to open the discussion between computer science and musicology to stimulate collaboration that might trigger new methodological approaches within existing musicological fields.

There is benefit for both sides in an increased communication in the different approaches: computer scientists developing digital musicological techniques can gain a new perspective on how these tools can be used; musicologists and ethnomusicologists can learn new ways of improving their research.

The day will consist of presentations culminating with a keynote speech by Dr Emmanouil Benetos (Centre for Digital Music, Queen Mary University of London). We invite scholars to propose 20-minute presentations (followed by a 10-minute discussion) from all fields involved such as computer science, music computing, music information retrieval, music encoding, historical musicology, popular musicology, ethnomusicology, systematic musicology, music analysis, music theory, and so on. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Software and digital tools for musicologists
  • Music information retrieval
  • Timbral analysis
  • Big data projects
  • Automated analysis of music
  • Machine learning and music
  • Challenges and opportunities of digital musicology
  • Arguments for and against digital analysis

Please e-mail your proposals (250 words) with a short biography (150 words) to before 1 July 2017.

Symposium for Digital Musicology organising committee:
Frieda van der Heijden, Royal Holloway, University of London, Music Department
M Selim Yavuz, Leeds Beckett University, Music Department
Xavier Riley, Royal Holloway, University of London, Computer Science Department

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