The MusicNet project is a continuation of the musicSpace project and builds on existing collaborative work between Computer Scientists & Musicologists at Southampton University and scholarly data providers Grove, RISM, Copac & the British Library.
In any domain, a key activity of researchers is to search for and synthesise data from multiple sources in order to create new knowledge. In many cases this process is laborious, to the point of making certain questions nearly intractable because the cost of the search outstrips the time available to consider the work.
As more resources are published as linked data this should mean that, with appropriate tools, data from multiple heterogeneous sources can be more rapidly discovered and automatically integrated. This will enable previously intractable queries to be explored, and more standard queries to be significantly accelerated.
But linked data is not of itself a complete solution. A key challenge of linked data is that its strength is also its weakness: anyone can publish anything. So in classical music, for instance, 17 sources may publish work on Schubert, but there is no de facto way to know that any of these Schuberts are the same. The sources are not aligned. Without alignment, much of the benefit of linked data is diminished: resources can effectively be stranded rather than discovered, or become tangled nets of only guessed associations.
To address these problems, this project proposes to produce a suite of resources and tools that will support effective linked data exploration with a focus in musicology.
The project's original data contribution will be archival, canonical linked data references, aka "minted" URIs, for music composers. These URIs will associate recognized reference data sources in Musicology, like COPAC, RISM, Grove, the British Library, etc., into standard representative pointers for composers.
The original tools contribution will be data alignment mechanisms that will easily enable domain experts to associate any linked data resources with our minted reference URIs. The URIs and the alignment tools mean that musicologists as data contributors will be able to harmonize rather than replicate their resources with standard sources.
Search the MusicNet database for composers we've aligned.
We are continually adding new composers using our Alignment Tool, so keep checking back reguarly for updated lists.