- Enhanced publication is music to the ears of musicologists
Enhanced publication is music to the ears of musicologists
EP of the month for June 2011: The Other Josquin: Music Excluded from the New Josquin Edition
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Since February 2011, SURFfoundation has been awarding a monthly prize for the Enhanced Publication (EP) of the Month. Enhanced publications are a new type of scientific/scholarly communication whereby researchers make publications available online in combination with other material. This includes such things as research reports that are made publicly available on the Internet or film clips to explain the research method to the general public.
To highlight the possibilities offered by enhanced publications, SURFfoundation is awarding a prize each month in 2011 to a good example of such enhancement.
The views of musicologists differ as to which compositions attributed to the leading sixteenth-century composer Josquin des Prez (c. 1450–1521) are genuinely from his hand. Compositions that are not definitely by Josquin have been excluded from the New Josquin Edition. However, it is precisely these pieces that are important for further research. The CMME (Computerized Mensural Music Editing) project at Utrecht University is making forty of these compositions available – scores, transcriptions of variants, and scholarly introductions - as an enhanced publication.
Publishing Renaissance compositions is a complex matter, even in a digital medium. The enhanced publication enables musicologists to present this complexity in a meaningful manner. Theodor Dumitrescu and Marnix van Berchum, musicologists at Utrecht University, explain that it is important to be able to indicate the relationships between the scores, transcriptions, and explanations.
Marnix van Berchum (left) and Theodor Dumitrescu, musicologists Utrecht University (photo: Annemiek van der Kuil, PhotoA)
One important component of historical musicology is the transcription of early compositions into notation that can be understood today. Traditionally, the score is presented separately from the scholarly explanation substantiating the interpretation of the historical material. In the enhanced publications within the CMME Project, however, these components are linked dynamically.
The Other Josquin enables researchers and interested music lovers to switch easily between the various different elements of the edition of a composition without losing track of the context.
Utrecht University can publish the contextualised musical works online and prepare them for the semantic web (web 3.0), applying the standards for enhanced publications that have been developed within the SURFshare programme. Use has been made of the “InContext” EP visualization tool developed by SURFfoundation. All the components in the overview are clickable. When a button is clicked, it moves to the centre of the presentation and it is then surrounded by the items to which it is related. The type of relationship between the various items is clearly shown. The block that has been clicked also provides a link to more information.
The “Other Josquin” EP shows the relationship between the various components of the compositions.
• The Other Josquin: Music Excluded from the New Josquin Edition
• The Other Josquin project
• The blog for the Other Josquin project
• Enhanced publications: www.surffoundation.nl/enhancedpublications
SURFshare’s aim is to open up a wide range of possibilities for finding, creating, distributing, and publishing research results. That is possible because ICT not only speeds up standard communication processes but also changes the nature of the research cycle itself. SURFfoundation’s intention with the SURFshare programme is to create a common infrastructure that will facilitate access to research information and make it possible for researchers to share scientific and scholarly information.