Visualising Special Music Collections

Visualising Special Music Collections


  • Jen Hill, Curator Rare Music
  • Heather Gaunt, Curator Grainger Museum
  • Daniel Russo-Batterham, Digital Studio

Project details

A collaborative co-designed project between the Digital Studio, Cultural Collections and the University of Melbourne Archives, that is using material from the Grainger Museum and Rare Music Collection to explore and trial digital technology and techniques.

This collaboration with the Grainger Museum builds on an existing project that aims to provide a coherent structure to Percy Grainger’s ethnomusicological research output in the area of folk song, and ultimately offer easy public access to associated digital assets (recordings, transcriptions, etc.). Beyond further work to clean and organise metadata related to Grainger’s English Folk Song Collection, the collaboration will result in visual modelling that illustrates relationships between places, people, and the folk songs themselves.

Working with the Rare Music Collection this project has three components. Firstly, producing a prototype for mapping Louise Hanson-Dyer’s network of composers, performers, and visual artists. Second, translating rare music manuscripts, of previously unpublished but performable 20th century Australian music, from handwritten music notation into digital music typesetting using Sibelius. This part of the project also will explore the possibility of making available sound files derived from digital notation and encourage Melbourne Conservatorium of Music students and their teachers to perform these works. Lastly, the project will trial methods of creating digital notation from other digitised Rare Music items, such as 18th century MS of French chansons.