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Roundtable
Nov 12, 2021 10:00 AM - 11:50 AM(America/Chicago)
20211112T1000 20211112T1150 America/Chicago Broadening the Musicological Toolkit: Perspectives and Approaches from the Digital Humanities

Musicologists have historically included archival research and ethnographic fieldwork as central research methods of the field (Adams 2013; Cook and Everest 1999; Rice 2014:88; Nettl 2015:250). Although these methods often point to broader questions that could be addressed with complementary quantitative and qualitative methodologies, only a handful of musicological studies (e.g. Becker 2004; 2009; Borgo 2005; Freedman 2014) adopt integrative approaches. In this roundtable, we explore how perspectives and tools from data science and the digital humanities can be used to develop analytical approaches and methodologies that complement fieldwork and archival research and increase their comparative, spatial, and analytical scope. We ultimately hope to open a conversation about how our own projects have benefited from these complementary methodologies, and in so doing, offer a potential way forward for future integrative approaches. What new directions might this suggest for our field? 

Our panel will consist of six case study focused presentations, each of which integrates traditional archival or ethnographic methodologies with approaches from data science and the digital humanities, including social network analysis, GIS, crowdsourcing, community music mapping, web scraping, and digital updates of classic (and controversial) standardized cross-cultural databases of music (Cantometrics/Global Jukebox). Panelists examine historical and contemporary musical case studies from Egypt, Peru, Brazil, and the U.S., as well as global comparative perspectives. Their work ranges from individual research projects to public collaborative endeavors with state cultural institutions and local musicians. They also engage with ethical questions rai ...

AMS 2021 ams@amsmusicology.org


Musicologists have historically included archival research and ethnographic fieldwork as central research methods of the field (Adams 2013; Cook and Everest 1999; Rice 2014:88; Nettl 2015:250). Although these methods often point to broader questions that could be addressed with complementary quantitative and qualitative methodologies, only a handful of musicological studies (e.g. Becker 2004; 2009; Borgo 2005; Freedman 2014) adopt integrative approaches. In this roundtable, we explore how perspectives and tools from data science and the digital humanities can be used to develop analytical approaches and methodologies that complement fieldwork and archival research and increase their comparative, spatial, and analytical scope. We ultimately hope to open a conversation about how our own projects have benefited from these complementary methodologies, and in so doing, offer a potential way forward for future integrative approaches. What new directions might this suggest for our field? 


Our panel will consist of six case study focused presentations, each of which integrates traditional archival or ethnographic methodologies with approaches from data science and the digital humanities, including social network analysis, GIS, crowdsourcing, community music mapping, web scraping, and digital updates of classic (and controversial) standardized cross-cultural databases of music (Cantometrics/Global Jukebox). Panelists examine historical and contemporary musical case studies from Egypt, Peru, Brazil, and the U.S., as well as global comparative perspectives. Their work ranges from individual research projects to public collaborative endeavors with state cultural institutions and local musicians. They also engage with ethical questions raised by these ventures, including questions of privacy, inclusivity, cross-cultural comparison, legal and moral issues involving copyright and public data sharing of cultural heritage, and differential power dynamics. Following the presentations, the roundtable will feature an extended open discussion section in which both panelists and audience members will be invited to participate. 


Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru
University of Illinois at Chicago
Association for Cultural Equity at Hunter College
University of Florida
University of Richmond
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