Resounding Culture

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.

“Now then, all together!” Cartoon from Canada, the Granary of the World (1903), Library and Archives Canada, C081314. Used by permission.

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.

Team Members:

Principal Investigator: Mary I. Ingraham, Professor of Musicology and Director, Sound Studies Institute

David Gramit, Co-Investigator; Professor of Musicology
Jamie Meyers-Riczu, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student in Musicology
Morteza Abedinifard, Research Assistant, Doctoral Student in Musicology
Caitlin MacRae, Metadata Assistant, MA Student, Library and Information Studies
Holly Pickering, Metadata Assistant, MA Student, Digital Humanities and Library and Information Studies
Quincy Hiscott, Metadata Assistant, MA Student, Library and Information Studies
Kamal Ranaweera, Team Lead, Arts Resource Centre
Geoff Harder, Associate University Librarian, Information Resources
Sean Luyk
, Discovery & Web Services Librarian (Interim), Information Technology Services, University of Alberta Libraries
Sharon Farnel, Metadata Coordinator, University of Alberta Libraries
Sonya Betz, Digital Initiatives Librarian, University of Alberta Libraries

Additional funding support:

SSHRC Insight Grant 2016-present