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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/I001832/1
Title: Musicology for the Masses
Principal Investigator: Dixon, Professor S
Other Investigators:
Sandler, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
BBC British Library
Department: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science
Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 13 September 2010 Ends: 12 March 2012 Value (£): 250,102
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Composition History Of Music
Human-Computer Interactions Media & Communication Studies
Music & Acoustic Technology Musicology
New Media/Web-Based Studies
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Creative Industries Information Technologies
Sports and Recreation Education
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
27 Apr 2010 Digital Economy - Research in The Wild 3 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Music is both a cultural asset and an important commodity in the digitaleconomy. It is enjoyed by expert and novice alike, but its complexity andreal-time nature make it difficult for listeners to fully understand andappreciate the content of a musical recording. This proposal is predicated onthe assumption that the vast majority of music consumers, professional andamateur alike, want to know more, but the tools and services they routinelyaccess are incapable of helping them. The tools and services that the Centre forDigital Music has been researching for several years can fulfill this demand,given the appropriate interaction with users.This proposal therefore sets up scenarios to examine how people's relationshipwith music is changed by using new technologies, enabling us to understand howto bridge the gap from laboratory curiosity to the mainstream market.Underpinning this proposal are the new technologies associated with metadata --in particular, Semantic Metadata. These have the potential to change thelandscape for music (and indeed other media types) in all areas from creation toconsumption. By changing how users interact with music, this proposal will shedlight on new business models for the music industry.The British Library (BL) has a catalogue of 3.5 million soundrecordings, approximately half of which are in a digital format,including many unique historic items, which visitors can listen toin the Library's Reading Rooms while taking notes with paper and pencil. No tools areprovided in the Reading Rooms, and the data can not be taken off site due to copyrightregulations. The current situation hinders contemporary research, which aims tocomplement listeners' impressions with precise measurements of musical features.User feedback regarding deployment of analysis and visualisation tools at the BL,undertaken as a preliminary study to inform this proposal, indicated thepotential to transform musicology research.Such tools must however be carefully tailored to meet the data securityrequirements of the BL.Our software tools have a broader application than to expert musicologists.Hobby musicians and music lovers can also benefit from our music analysis,search and visualisation software. The most likely market is younger people, sowe also target school music students as a first step towards reaching young peoplein general. Our relationship with schools will help penetrate the market, asyoung people inevitably spread the word (probably using Facebook) on cool new stuff to enjoy music with, as well as help evaluate the potentialfor a business model for Sonic Visualiser, based on music education.The BBC's relatively new www.bbc.co.uk/music/introducing site hasacquired over 34,000 music tracks in the astonishingly short period of 11months. New bands are invited to upload their songs. Added to this, thecollection contains many video recordings from BBC-sponsored concerts.Everything is accompanied by high quality metadata, much of it using theMusic Ontology that the Centre for Digital Music pioneered. New bands willbenefit from interacting with ananalysis of their songs, and on-line users will benefit from new ways tonavigate through this exciting collection, while simultaneously understandingmore about what goes into the music.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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Date Materialised
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