While there are many parallels between computing activities in musicology and those in other humanities disciplines, the particular nature of musical material and the ways in which this must be accommodated set many activities apart from those in text-based disciplines. As in other disciplines, early applications were beset by hardware constraints, which placed a premium on expertise and promoted design-intensive projects. Massive musical encoding and bibliographical projects were initiated. Diversification of hardware platforms and languages in the Seventies led to task-specific undertakings, including preliminary work on many of today's programs for music printing and analysis. The rise of personal computers and associated general-purpose software in the Eighties has enabled many scholars to pursue projects individually, particularly with the assistance of database, word processing, and notation software. Current issues facing the field include the need for standards for data interchange, the creation of banks of reusable data, the establishment of qualitative standards for encoded data, and the encouragement of realistic appraisals of what computers can do.
The musicologist Eleanor Selfridge-Field, who is the author of three books on Italian music and numerous articles, editions, and reviews, has worked at CCARH since its founding in 1984. Her most recent book, The Music of Benedetto and Alessandro Marcello (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990), which contains 1300 musical examples, was produced from camera-ready copy supplied by CCARH.
Drs. Hewlett and Selfridge-Field jointly edit the series Computing in Musicology, which is published by CCARH, and co-chair the International Musicological Society's Study Group on Musical Data and Computer Applications.
Key WordsBach Database musical databases DARMS (Digital Alternate Representation of Musical Scores) ESAC (Essen Associative Code) IML-MIR (Intermediary Musical Language-Music Information Retrieved) IRCAM language models (for musical analysis) MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) MIPS (Musical Information Processing Standards) musical data musical information RISM SCORE musical analysis music printing
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