Building on both a reconceptualization of basic premises of national music histories and on the communicative potential of searchable knowledge networks, this project is designed to develop an accessible, searchable multimedia web portal for histories of music and music-making in Canada. The portal will link digitized cultural resources across distinct collections, drawing on the multi- and intercultural nature of musical practices and the potential for innovative use of technology to create a viable alternative to traditional narrative – and often linear – approaches to history.
Recognizing the potential for curated collections of interrelated documents to constitute an alternative mode of history, the project will develop cross-disciplinary datasets of online cultural materials using existing digital collections available through University of Alberta sources. From these beginnings (with nearly twenty collections), a framework will be established to model music metadata curation, ensuring the security and sustainability of the current resources, and allowing the addition of new resources as permissions are received. By selecting, curating, contextualizing and linking within these resources, we will initiate an approach to digital music histories that will speak to the diversity of perspectives and practices of music and music-making in Canada, across time and place and within and beyond the discipline of musicology.
The project proceeds through several interrelated and foundational strands of research to investigate experiences of music and musicians in Canada across approximately 500 years of social history to explore issues unique to Canada’s social and cultural histories, create a framework for ongoing research, and build an accessible web portal for researchers themselves to explore across multiple collections.
This move to create new readings of multiple histories of music in Canada will result in an expandable, searchable, and accessible database of digitized sources, curated according to themes and networks of relations and disjunctures rather than through a chronological organization that ultimately will reshape cultural histories in Canada by acknowledging multiple influences and practices in order to advance our ways of knowing and understanding culture in a Canadian context.
Principal Investigator: Mary I. Ingraham, Professor of Musicology and Director, Sound Studies Initiative, Department of Music
David Gramit, Co-Investigator; Professor of Musicology, Department of Music
Geoff Harder, Associate University Librarian, University of Alberta Libraries
Jamie Meyers-Riczu, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student in Musicology, Department of Music
Kamal Ranaweera, Team Lead, Arts Resource Centre
Sean Luyk, Music Librarian, Department of Music,University of Alberta Libraries
Sonya Betz, Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Alberta Libraries
Additional funding support:
SSHRC Insight Grant 2016-present