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Monday, September 18 • 15:30 - 16:00
Constructing a Linked Data Ontology for Irish Traditional Music: Challenges and Opportunities

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Linked open data (LOD) has shown great promise in cultural heritage and digital humanities applications, making cultural heritage materials accessible to wider audiences via the Semantic Web. According to Pattuelli (2015), "Ontologies represent agreed domain semantics," also noting the particular challenges of representing digital cultural heritage materials. Among the few music ontologies developed, none adequately express orally-based traditions like Irish traditional music and dance (ITM).

This paper will describe several key issues related to a current project of constructing a linked data ontology for ITM. Specifically, the paper will describe challenges and opportunities surrounding the selection of appropriate materials from specific archival collections as well as challenges of accurately representing complex musical relationships: musician-musician; musician-music; variants of tunes; where the variation ends and the act of composition begins; and, Irish language and English language equivalents in musician, tune, and geographic place names. Several current projects within Ireland such as Linked Logainm.ie for Irish-English geographic place names are working to create linked data sets that could be re-used within a future ontology constructed specifically for ITM. This linked data ontology project is the first to represent a music tradition propagated primarily through oral transmission. Once completed, it will enable future opportunities for digital discovery and further research in ethnomusicology and digital humanities.
Pattuelli, M. C., Provo, A., & Thorsen, H. (2015). Ontology building for linked open data: A pragmatic perspective. Journal of Library Metadata, 15(3-4), 265-294.

avatar for Bruce Gordon

Bruce Gordon

Audio Engineer/Media Preservation Services, Harvard University

avatar for Lynnsey Weissenberger

Lynnsey Weissenberger

Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Irish Traditional Music Archive

Monday September 18, 2017 15:30 - 16:00
Ethnologisches Museum, Room 1 (Auditorium, off the Lower Foyer) Lansstraße 8, Berlin, Germany

Attendees (16)