Publishing Musicology Digitally

In the grant proposal for Transforming Musicology we committed to the production of a

book covering the research undertaken in the project in some depth. As envisaged then,

it was to have been a conventional publication, with an online version offering a degree

of extra linkage and embedding some digital material. This was modelled on the notion

of preparing traditional scholarship for Web publication. However, with much of our

data, methods and findings now published as Linked Data, our emphasis has shifted

sharply towards online presentation as our primary outlet, with a summary print

publication. This requires us to design an information architecture accommodating the

needs of scholarly music publishing, and to work out an authoring strategy, ideally one

involving TEI, and an editing strategy resulting in high quality hypertext. This allows us

to embed and link dynamic music examples by using the TEI-compatible Music Encoding

Initiative (MEI). For example, rather than static music examples, we can display extracts

from complete scores as examples, and allow users to select a passage as a query to an

MIR system. Another possibility that comprehensive markup allows is curating dynamic

reading paths for different readerships. The content must be edited into re-combinable

chunks, each carrying information about how they may be re-combined. Reading paths

might include: a research findings report on Transforming Musicology; a handbook on

digital musicology methods; a focussed discussion of a particular digital methods; or an

authorial/editorial reading path (as in a conventional book). In this way we shall widen

access to broader audiences by allowing readership interactions such as annotating or

commenting, or crowd-source-like contributions to our (meta)data sets. We shall also

build reading paths suited to lay audiences, opening musicology to scientists and

engineers interested in music, and also offering a palatable way into advanced digital

technology for musicologists and musicians.