Digital score as a source for recording music heritage; challenges, opportunities, perspectives

Tassos Kolydas, Digital score as a historical source for recording music heritage; challenges, opportunities, perspectives

Music scores are a valuable kind of source for recording and studying music culture heritage. In particular, music manuscripts provide rich and diverse information; besides the musical content, they provide evidence for the conditions of creation of the musical work (corrections, additions and removals of material), composition (sketches, revisions, final version), identification of the work and the composer (creation date, original-copy distinction, writer’s handwriting), etc. The ability to edit sheet music using a computer brings new  possibilities, gradually establishing digital score as the best way to write music. On the other hand, most of the mentioned information are missing from the digital score. The purpose of the announcement is to examine the challenges, opportunities, perspectives which occur from the study of the digital score.

Topics such as assigning dates, identifying authorship, intellectual property rights are being considered. The contribution in interoperability by languages of symbolic representation of music ​​(MusicXML) is highlighted. The rapid spread of digital scores thanks to Free – Open Source Software is emphasized. Finally, we propose a method based on blockchain (Distributed Ledger Technology) for archiving digital music scores in a way that is impossible to tamper with.

The Music Departments of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, and the Ionian University, as well as the Department of Music Science and Art of the University of Macedonia meet for the tenth consecutive year in the established and highly successful annual musicological conference under the auspices of the Hellenic Musicological Society.


10th Musicological Conference: “Musical heritage in Western art music” (Corfu, 26-28 October 2018)