Music for the Home

Encoding arrangements at the Beethoven-Haus summer school

For several years, the Beethoven-Haus in Bonn has run an annual four-day Studienkolleg (summer school) and this year, with the help of the Beethoven in the House project, the theme was Beethoven-Bearbeitungen und ihre digitale Darstellung (‘Beethoven arrangements and their digital representation’). Participants were asked to choose an extract from one of the arrangements of Beethoven’s Wellingtons Sieg that interested them and make a digital edition of just those bars in the extract, in preparation for presentation of their research to the gourp. In advance of the Studienkolleg, Lisa Rosendahl converted these editions to selective MEI encodings. She then used the bar detector tool Cartographer to associate these editions with IIIF facsimile images and metadata as Linked Data about the arrangements.

While participants had the opportunity to handle physical scores, including first editions and Beethoven autographs, they were also able to engage with questions of music encoding using the newly created digital files. In workshop sessions, they had a chance to try some data modelling themselves, working as a group to come up with a way to represent scholarship that talks about analogous regions in different arrangements.

Participants at the Studienkolleg were introduced to our new annotation tool, using it to select and encode Beethoven extracts themselves and provide their own digital annotations. The tool had been pre-configured to include the facsimile, digital edition and metadata for all the arrangements the participants considered. At the end of the 4-day program, students presented their findings on the arrangements.

Student using annotator app

The workshop session resulted in valuable feedback for the development team on issues of usability and practicability, and were followed up with more formal interview sessions. The results of these will inform our continuing development of the tool’s interface and functionality.