1. “Layers” of editorial control and participants.
Different users will want to use the sites in different ways. It’s important for us to recognize that there will be different levels of expertise, and different interests—from students (intermediate as well as advanced) to scholars (in literary studies, digital humanities, as well as musicologists) to performers. Some will simply want finished editions. Others will want to get involved in the reconstructions. Still others want might want to look at variant readings or undertake studies of style and influence.
So here is a model of the ‘levels’ of permission and authority:
Owners (who maintain the site, and hold the copyright)
Editors (who are responsible for the big policies and questions)
Contributors (who send in essays or reconstructions)
Correspondents (who can ask questions or make comments on particular pieces)
2. Nouvelles sur nouvelles.
We want to move beyond a static archive and instead towards an interactive model of collaborative inquiry. We thus need ways to announce new content, or new conversations. We also need to find ways for users to follow this news, and for them to find each other. The “news” function is important for sustaining interest in the site during the inevitable gaps and silences between launch of new material. We thus need announcements that report on what we are doing, and what is coming up. (For instance, announcement about a grant, about the Med-Ren meeting, about the Ecole thematique, etc).
We could also use this public space as a way of encouraging users (individual scholars, or perhaps a professor and students) to edit some pieces or propose a reconstruction. We could, for instance, make a suggestion about something to discuss, or a challenging piece for reconstruction. We could make announcements about a group of students who are seeking someone else for collaboration.
3. Documentation is a key part of all digital humanities projects.
We need to provide a written record of the steps we have taken (even discussions like this one!). We also need document our editorial and encoding methods. These records are a crucial part of what we have promised granting agencies. They will be an important part of securing future funding. It will also be crucial for us to have clear methods we attempt to collaborate—whether with scholars who want to contribute something to our projects or to those like the ELVIS project who want to make use of our data.
Thus we are likely to need two ‘spaces’–one private, the other public:
a. The decisions taken by the advisory board and technical team.
b. A clear set of editorial standards.
Our end users are unlikely to be able to use MEI, or even learn it. We will in any case still need to produce engraved PDFs for performers, and still need to use Sibelius and Finale to distribute and gather reconstructions from contributors. We also have members of the CMME community to work with. Can we hire consultants to produce tools for transformation from one format to the other?
The MEI team is making excellent progress on tools for encoding and displaying music. They expect to launch a viewer/encoder in May of 2012. It is very important for us to document our standards so that our files will be easily converted into MEI standard.
How, exactly, will we treat variants and reconstructions in our Sibelius editions or our CMME encodings? What happens to this information when we export data as Music XML and then MEI? What happens when we export a CMME file with ‘variants’ as MusicXML or MEI? What happens when we “add” a voice with Sibelius, then try to incorporate it into a CMME file for display? What happens to musica ficta and other editorial accidentals in he transformation process?
As part of our workshop for reconstructions, we want to “point” between and among related pieces. We also want to make connections between the elements in our Thesaurus (like a cadential figure) and corresponding passages in pieces we have reconstructed.
Can the MEI team suggest specific ways to do any of this? Can we document the practice? Eventually these could be rendered in some dynamic way on screen. For now we would be satisfied with pointers to fixed images of the Thesaurus figures, which would be organized in some systematic way.
Note that the Shakespeare Quartos Archive allows users to juxtapose different readings or editions. and allows them to annotate what they find. There is also a way to save the annotations!
See the Shakespeare Quartos Archive for some great tools and tutorials on how to use them. They allow users to ‘collect’ passages and put them side by side. Also registered users can keep their annotations:
6. Developing the Community.
During the Barcelona Med-Ren meeting I started to keep a list of scholars interested in the AVRP and Du Chemin.
Jessie Rodin [Josquin Project.]
Luca Bruno [Naples. Great presentation on Santa Maria and Villanesche]
Philippe Canguilhem [Toulouse. Interesting work on Lusitano and improvisation-composition]
Ann Smith [Basel Schola Cantorum]
Robert Kendrick (Chicago—he is already using Du Chemin with his students)
Wolfgang Fuhrmann (Vienna. Expressed interest in missing voice part from Petrucci motets]
Julie Cumming [Montreal. Elvis project]
Peter Schubert [Montreal. Elvis project]
Vladimir Prado [Vienna. Working on Digital editions of de Monte]
Thomas Schmidt-Beste [Bangor. Working on new grant to catalog manuscripts and prints]
We also have our Advisory Board members. I am not sure how many of them want to stay actively involved:
Carla Zecher (Newberry)
Erin Mayhood (UVA Library and MEI)
And a few others who had already expressed interest in Du Chemin and AVRP during the early months of 2011.
Craig Sapp (Stanford)
Andrew Hankinson (McGill)
Raffaele Vigliante (London)
Ichiro Fujinaga (McGill)