Survey on eMusicology

Many music researchers, myself included, are dependent on technology in and for their work. In fact, I think many of the most interesting research findings in musicology in recent years are based on the new potential from various types of technology, e.g. tools coming from the music information retrieval (MIR) community.

I am therefore puzzled when I meet music researchers that are not interested in, or even outspokenly negative, to the possibilities of new technologies for music research. Therefore I am happy to see that the Purcell Plus project has been set up to carry out a more systematic study on the impact of technology on music research. They write:

Musicology is changing. Advances in technology are opening up new areas of musical practice to potential scrutiny such as analysis of performance through recorded music. Application of software to analytical tasks dealing with music is making possible a kind of objectivity which hasn’t been possible in previous music scholarship. Current theoretical advances are even formalising the notion of musical and musicological practice and may potentially complement human agents in future models of practice. The social Web and scientific methods are bringing about changes in scholarly practice and publication with collaborative research becoming more commonplace in humanities disciplines.

To get some more information on the topic, they have set up an online survey as a pilot study. I am very interested in seeing the results of this study, so if you are involved in music research please help them by filling out the survey.


Published by


Alexander Refsum Jensenius is a music researcher and research musician living in Oslo, Norway.