Breen, Richard (2019). Versioning Cultural Objects through the Text-Encoding of Folk Songs. In: Versioning Cultural Objects : Digital Approaches, pp. 57-75. Norderstedt: BoD. ISBN 978-3-7504-2702-0

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This paper will present and discuss experiences studying different versions of folk songs as cultural objects, and will investigate how using specific Digital Humanities tools may assist the versioning of intangible oral tradition. This was primarily achieved using The Versioning Machine, a framework and an interface for displaying multiple versions of text and audio encoded according to the Text Encoding Initiative (TEI) Guidelines. Through encoding a set number of songs in The Versioning Machine and displaying the results online, new questions and conclusions could be made to version cultural material with an emphasis on trying to trace the evolution of cultural ideas through subsequent iterations of ideas. Using examples from the project Documenting Transmission: The Rake Cycle1, this paper will examine the effectiveness of using a specific existing versioning tool to model and map the differences between versions of folk songs and examine the intangible nature of performance and oral tradition. How do these digital versions change or reinforce our perception of a song cycle and transmission processes in general? This paper will give a broad overview of the Documenting Transmission project and some of the musicological and technical considerations that were made over the course of the project.

Item Type: Book Section, Proceedings Item or annotation in a legal commentary
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
EditorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Corporate Creators: Institut für Dokumentologie und Editorik
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-106490
Title of Book: Versioning Cultural Objects : Digital Approaches
Series Name at the University of Cologne: Schriften des Instituts für Dokumentologie und Editorik
Volume: 13
Page Range: pp. 57-75
Date: 2019
Publisher: BoD
Place of Publication: Norderstedt
ISSN: 2197-6945
ISBN: 978-3-7504-2702-0
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Zentrale Forschungseinrichtungen > Cologne Center for eHumanities (CCeH)
Subjects: Generalities, Science
Data processing Computer science
Library and information sciences
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Digital HumanitiesEnglish
Digitale EditionenGerman
Related URLs:
Refereed: Yes


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