Purcell Plus

In July 2008 I won a Ph.D studentship at Goldsmiths working on a project called Purcell Plus. Essentially, the project aims to examine the current state of the art of computational musicology and to try to assess what it may have to offer conventional musicologists. It will do this by applying the tools common in computational musicology to a small but comprehensive corpus consisting of the Fantasias and In Nomines of Henry Purcell, and incorporating not just score data, but also the various manuscript sources, recordings, and contemporary and contemporaneous textual commentaries.

The project is funded by the AHRC, JISC, and the EPSRC as part of their Arts and Humanities eScience Initiative. The Ph.D is funded as part of the same initiative for four years from October 2008.

Digital Music Encoding as Cultural Practice

  title = {{Digital Music Encoding as Cultural Practice}},
  author = {Richard J. Lewis},
  school = {School of Music, University of East Anglia},
  address = {Norwich},
  year = {2008}



We examine the use of computers in storing and manipulating music. We consider the validity of treating music as information in the formal terms required by computers. We take the metaphor of inscriptions (marks on a medium) and draw out its implications for music representation techniques and digital encoding practices through its relationship to notations and to digital storage, its ability to take on semantics and become a representation, its ability to be gathered together into documents, and its ability to be disseminated, particularly over digital networks. We then examine some examples of practice in designing and applying digital music encoding methods and draw some conclusions for the practice of computer assisted musicology: that suitable encoding methods are vital for any application of computers in music research, and that users must understand how musical information is being represented in order to make optimal use of the techniques.