“Rebalancing the Music Canon” is an open-access music data project aims to make works by un(der)-represented people more discoverable, decenter the musical canon, and make data-driven music scholarship more diverse and inclusive. The nature of this project is iterative, because it is being used as a way to teach students about transcription and encoding.
The project repository contains a growing dataset of music incipits and excerpts from a large historical period by an un(der)-represented group (primarily women and people of color) that has generally been left out of (big) data driven scholarship work.
The current focus is on encoding musical incipits (initial melodic line of a composition or each movement) that can be used as a thematic index for locating compositions by women, people of color, and underrepresented composers. We are transcribing and reviewing incipits that are available in our local Lilly Music Library collection at Tufts University.
In addition to making works by underrepresented composers in our collection more visible and discoverable, the student contributors are developing expertise in transcription and editing methods, as well as expanding their knowledge of a diverse music repertoire.
Technical aspects about this project can be found on the project site.