'Using Digital Library Tools for Musicological Scholarship Production and Dissemination: “Stravinsky in Urbana” Case Study' 

  • Joseph G. Goldstein (Speaker)
  • Cowgill, R. E. (Chair)
  • Christina Bashford (Speaker)
  • Maureen Reagan (Speaker)
  • J. Stephen Downie (Speaker)
  • Michael Twidale (Speaker)
  • Alan J. Dix (Speaker)
  • Perry, F. (Speaker)
  • Rupert Ridgewell (Speaker)
  • David Bainbridge (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


Presented by Stephen Downie on behalf of the co-author/project group

There is a little-known connection between the Russian composer Igor Stravinsky (1882–1971) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: his son Soulima Stravinsky (1910–1994), who held a faculty position in the School of Music at UIUC (1950–1978). In 1949 and 1950 Igor and Soulima Stravinsky participated in the Festival of Contemporary Arts where their program consisted solely of compositions by Stravinsky senior, centered around the Pulcinella Suite. These concerts began a long association with the University through Soulima, and growing special interest in the composer and the music he presented as part of his interactions with UIUC.

As part of the InterMusE Project’s efforts to foster musicological scholarship, the “Stravinsky in Urbana” (SiU) subproject engages with musical events ephemera, gathered from the School of Music’s archives, the Krannert Center for Performing Arts, and sources from wider afield. A cornerstone to this work, which this paper presents, is the way in which the Open Source Greenstone Digital Library software tool has been harnessed to equip musicologists with more comprehensive abilities to investigate, interrogate and interpret musical-event ephemera.

From a technical standpoint, the pattern of use of the DL software is an iterative one, whereby a “rough-cut” cloud-shared drive, developed by the scholars to store digitized versions of located documents, is transformed into a metadata-enriched and increasingly refined digital library collection. Unlike the typical shared-drive approach, which is restricted to a single folder-based hierarchy, a key advantage of our DL approach is its open-ended ability for the scholar to create additional ways by which the materials can be organized and searched.

From a scholarly perspective, as a musicologist obtains a deeper understanding of the material before them, they craft new metadata structures that reflect their understanding, which in turn evolves how the DL is formed. Thus, as a musicologist progresses to writing a scholarly article—through a process of mutual recursion—both the article and DL are improved. The end result of this mutually reinforcing process is a piece of scholarship more strongly grounded in, and linked to, the supporting evidentiary materials.

From our SiU case study we posit our DL tool approach could become an integral part of the scholarly production life-cycle for future musicological work.
Period28 Jun 2024
Event titleDigital Technologies Applied to Music Research: Methodologies, Projetxs and Challenges
Event typeConference
LocationLisbon, PortugalShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational