Mining oral history collections using music information retrieval methods

Webb, Sharon, Kiefer, Chris, Jackson, Ben, Baker, James and Eldridge, Alice (2017) Mining oral history collections using music information retrieval methods. Music Reference Services Quarterly, 20 (3-4). pp. 168-183. ISSN 1058-8167

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Abstract

Recent work at the Sussex Humanities Lab, a digital humanities research program at the University of Sussex, has sought to address an identified gap in the provision and use of audio feature analysis for spoken word collections. Traditionally, oral history methodologies and practices have placed emphasis on working with transcribed textual surrogates, rather than the digital audio files created during the interview process. This provides a pragmatic access to the basic semantic content, but obviates access to other potentially meaningful aural information; our work addresses the potential for methods to explore this extra-semantic information, by working with the audio directly. Audio analysis tools, such as those developed within the established field of Music Information Retrieval (MIR), provide this opportunity. This paper describes the application of audio analysis techniques and methods to spoken word collections. We demonstrate an approach using freely available audio and data analysis tools, which have been explored and evaluated in two workshops. We hope to inspire new forms of content analysis which complement semantic analysis with investigation into the more nuanced properties carried in audio signals.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: oral history, music information retrieval, digital humanities, digital history,
Schools and Departments: School of History, Art History and Philosophy > History
School of Media, Film and Music > Media and Film
Professional Services > Library
Research Centres and Groups: Sussex Humanities Lab
Subjects: D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D016 Methodology- General works > D016.14 Oral history
M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > M Music
Depositing User: Sharon Webb
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2017 14:44
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2018 12:29
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/71250

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