Conference paper Open Access

Stories, Songs, Steps, and Tunes: A Linked Data Ontology for Irish Traditional Music and Dance

Weissenberger, Lynnsey K.

Stories and narrative play a large part in orally-based transmission of Irish traditional music and dance, infusing relationships between people– and between people, dance, and music information objects–with layers of nuance and complexity. A current project, LITMUS (Linked Irish Traditional Music) focuses on the development of the first linked data ontology specifically to address the needs of Irish traditional song, instrumental music and dance, and by extension serve as a reference point for other linked data projects involving orally-based music traditions.

This paper describes several key issues related to the linked data ontology construction. Specifically, the paper addresses challenges in accurately representing complex musical relationships: musician-musician; musician-music; music-dance; variants of tunes; where the musical variation ends and the act of composition begins; and, Irish language and English language equivalents in musician, tune, and geographic place names. Once completed, the ontology will enable future opportunities for digital discovery, exploration, and facilitate meaningful research connections in a variety of humanities and social science disciplines.

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