Show me a Strathspey: Taking Steps to Digitize Tune Collections

Research output: Contributions to journalsArticlepeer-review



Purpose – The present article describes an AHRC research project into Scottish fiddle music, and the important considerations of music digitisation, access and discovery in designing the website that will be one of the project’s enduring outcomes.
Design/Methodology/Approach – The paper is a general review of existing online indices to music repertoires; some of the general problems associated with selecting metadata and indexing such material; and a survey of various recent and contemporary projects into the digital encoding of musical notation for online use.
Findings – The questions addressed during the design of the Bass Culture project database serve to highlight the importance of cooperation between musicologists, information specialists and computer scientists, and the benefits of having researchers with strengths in more than one of these disciplines. The Music Encoding Initiative proves an effective means of providing digital access to the Scottish fiddle tune repertoire.
Originality/value– The digital encoding of music notation is still comparatively cutting-edge; the Bass Culture project is thus a useful exemplar for interdisciplinary collaboration between musicologists, information specialists and computer scientists, and addresses issues which are likely to be applicable to future projects of this nature.
Keywords: Online music indices, Music databases, Digital music software, Music Encoding Initiative,
Scottish fiddle music, Scottish dance music
Article Classification: Case Study


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalReference Reviews
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished or Performed - 19 Sept 2016

Author keywords

  • Databases, Digital encoding, Fiddle music, AHRC-funded projects