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What do musicologists do all day

Wiering, F; Inskip, C; (2015) What do musicologists do all day. Presented at: 2015 IAML/IMS Congress: Music Research in the Digital Age, New York City. Green open access

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Abstract

music and music metadata. Quite a few of these are specifically targeted at musicological research. Very often, such software, standards, services or resources are the outcome of interdisciplinary collaborations between computer scientists, audio engineers, musicologists and library scientists. An ever‐present subtext in the discourse around these collaborations is the potential of technology to transform the discipline of musicology. It is often asserted that technology will help musicologists to deal with issues such as searching large music collections, formalizing analysis, detecting high‐level patterns in music history, quantifying differences between musical cultures, and will generally strengthen the scientific nature of musicology. Yet the uptake of these technologies in mainstream musicology is not widespread. As a consequence, numerous pleas have been made for better training, more publicity and generally preaching the benefits of technologies, but more often than not attempts to do so have failed. In other digital humanities areas, a similar lukewarm reception of new technologies has frequently been signalled. This has stimulated a considerable amount of critical thinking about the collaboration between computer scientists and humanists, mainly from the perspectives of Human Computer Interaction and Human Centred Design. Contrary to popular belief, the underlying issue is not so much technophobia as the relevance and acceptability of technology as part of humanities research processes. Anecdotally, musicologists seem to be open to the use of technology whenever it allows them to work more effectively. Insights into the purposes and values of the researchers derived from a clearer understanding of the musicological work processes would enable and enhance interdisciplinary collaboration, leading to the development of usable and useful systems. To date, only very few studies have been made of the work processes and related technology needs of musicologists. A systematic exploration of the area is in order. As a first step, we will present the results of a questionnaire amongst musicologists worldwide focussing on the use of resources in their daily work processes, informed by their stories of rewarding and frustrating experiences and their views on the risks and limitations of technology. Based on the outcomes of the questionnaire, we will present an agenda for further research of musicological work practices, and a number of recommendations to enable a move towards the design of technologies to support these.

Type: Conference item (UNSPECIFIED)
Title: What do musicologists do all day
Event: 2015 IAML/IMS Congress: Music Research in the Digital Age
Location: New York City
Dates: 21 June 2015 - 26 June 2015
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: http://www.musiclibraryassoc.org/page/IAML_IMS_201...
Language: English
Keywords: information literacy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Information Studies
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472114
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