• The Musicology Lab: Teamwork and the Musicological Toolbox

    Ana Llorens, Álvaro Torrente
    Stefan Münnich (see profile) , David Rizo
    Music Encoding Initiative
    Digital humanities, Music, Musicology, Opera
    Item Type:
    Conference proceeding
    Conf. Title:
    Music Encoding Conference 2021
    Conf. Org.:
    University of Alicante
    Conf. Loc.:
    On-Site & Online
    Conf. Date:
    19–22 July 2021
    Music encoding, MusicXML, Teamwork
    Permanent URL:
    Musicology is a small discipline within the wide spectrum of human knowledge, yet it is already divided into various branches […]. Although they share their object of investigation – “the art of music as a physical, psychological, aesthetic, and cultural phenomenon” –, these branches very often ignore one another. Research in musicology is mostly a solitary task, as investigations, papers, and publications are commonly signed by single authors, in contrast with STEM disciplines where teamwork is the rule. This is in part the result of tradition – the “Musicological Toolbox” – but also the aftermath of the job market and financing programs. Large funding schemes such as the European Research Council (ERC) grants are becoming a major disruptive factor in many disciplines in the humanities, including musicology. Scholars in all fields now have the opportunity to build research teams, and most of their members receive their salaries to exclusively work on the project. In other words, we are starting to build what could be called a Musicology Lab, learning along the way how teamwork is reshaping and transforming the Musicological Toolbox, the look and feel of our discipline, the way we work as well as the way we publish and disseminate our results. This paper presents some of the key features of the ERC Didone project, one of its principal tasks being to create a digitally encoded corpus of some 3,000 arias in MusicXML format from about 180 musical settings of a small number of opera librettos by Pietro Metastasio. It focuses on some of the project’s research tasks, emphasizing how the skills of a team of eighteen scholars with very different expertise – historical musicology, music theory and analysis, cultural history, librettology, archival research, music performance, music engraving, MIR, computer science, and statistical modeling – combine to explore the potential answer(s) to the main research question of the project: How are emotions expressed through music?
    The MEC 2021 was hosted at Universidad de Alicante. It was sponsored by the Conselleria de Innovación, Universidades, Ciencia y Sociedad Digital de la Generalitat Valenciana (ref. AORG/2021/095), the Instituto de Investigación Informática de la Universidad de Alicante (IUII), co-sponsored with the Instituto Superior de Enseñanzas Artísticas de la Comunidad Valenciana (ISEA.CV), and generously supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of the Government of Canada (SSHRC).
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
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