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June 02, 2004


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FARNE > Traditional Music on the Web > Network of Excellence proposal
 Moderated By: Jenifer Maughan
4   Posts
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Friday, 06 Feb 2004 16:21

Dear all,

As discussed at the FARNE seminar, I'm currently putting together a proposal for funding under the EPSRC/AHRB 'Culture and Creativity' call. (See <www.epsrc.ac.uk/website/commonpages/downloads.aspx?CID=9936 &ZoneID=3&MenuID=116> for further details and insomnia cure.)

Currently the list of interested parties/victims is:

Myself (Richard Butterworth)
Malcolm Taylor (VWML)
(Possibly) Mike Heaney (Bodlean)
Sandra Kerr (Newcastle)
Rachel Peacock (FARNE)
Stevie Barrett (HOTBED)
Joan Beal (Sheffield)

Firstly, can I have a hands up from everyone on this list so that I know that everyone has registered on the FARNE site and is actually reading this message?

Secondly, has anyone on this list come to their senses and decided not to be involved?

Thirdly, is there anyone not on the list who should be?

As a network of excellence we can't actually ask for funding for salaries. The idea is to give funding to allow researchers, academics, etc to get together and collaborate. As such I'm going to put in a bid to allow us to organise one quarterly meeting, with travel and subsistence expenses paid. We *could* also ask for some funding to ensure that this online FARNE community is maintained as a communication aid between us.
(FARNE people: is this useful? Do you have funding to maintain this community?)

Question: one meeting a quarter: too much or too little?

Other question: is there anything we can suggest that would help keep this community together?

I've spoken to one of the bods at EPSRC and they assure me that folk music per se is not too narrow a domain (which I was worried about) which means I *believe* that we're in with a good shout.

I am currently compiling a case for support that basically says: folk songs and tunes are so fluid (changing from performer to performer and performance to performance) and ill defined (you want to go online and find the music to the tune you heard in a session last night, that the player learnt from someone he was too drunk to ask the name of, and he's forgotten the name of the tune: what exactly *do* you type into a search engine to find that tune?) that standard digital library models are not going to work well. Also folk music is a participation sport more than a spectator sport and therefore, again, normal digital library technology, which treats the user as a consumer of the library resources, not an active participant, is not appropriate for folk music.

(Deep breath)

Okay, that's my computer science centric view of things. I also need some other more humanities centric view of things? Anyone any suggestions?

The deadline for submission is 27th Feb. I'll keep throwing points for discussion on here as and when I think them up and then I'll send everyone a draft of the proposal on 20th Feb for them to read and say yes/no to involvment.

At the seminar there was talk of distributing an email list of attendees: any news on that?

And that's it!

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Friday, 06 Feb 2004 17:39

Hello Richard,
Thanks for this. Yes, on behalf of FARNE I can vouch that we would certainly be interested in developing this bid and working closely with other organisations to ensure joined up working in future.

In answer to your questions...

1. I think a quarterly meeting would be a good starting point.

2. Did the Village Music Project want to be involved as well? They are not listed as yet.

3. Funding to develop the FARNE Community would be great - we could use this to develop the online conferencing options available through the site. This could be used between ourselves to discuss issues online, and also to develop the network further(NB This is online conferencing, i.e. real time discussion between multiple users, NOT video conferencing... there is often confusion here)

4. I agree, it is the fact that folk music is so fluid and ever changing which is a key issue here... we want to preserve our traditions but allow people to access it and build on it in interesting and diverse ways. So, the idea with FARNE is not only to preserve archive material but to make it accessible to musicians today so that they can build it into their repertoires and arrange it in new ways. This then creates a whole new body of work which is ever changing.

Certainly, from a Humanities point of view (and with my History hat on) - our music does tell us a huge amount about our History and Culture and so it is very important that we preserve it.

If you need any other feedback let me know. Regarding the e-mail distribution... Apologies, I thought this had been sorted already. I'll sort something out.

Good stuff!


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Monday, 09 Feb 2004 16:01


Ta for replying.

If we're going to ask for funds to support online conferencing, I'll need a price.

The network will last two years.

Can someone at Gateshead Libraries give me a good estimate of how much it will cost to fund online coferencing for two years?


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Junior Member

Wednesday, 11 Feb 2004 13:28

Hello all. Could I please add my name and section here at the British Library Sound Archive (World and Traditional Music Section) to the list of people/organisations to be networked? While English traditional music is not our only business - we deal with music traditions from all around the world - it does form a significant part of our work. You'll probably know of our Traditional Music in England project (sponsored by the Heritage Lottery fund and others) that was completed in 2003. This resulted in approximately 17,000 detailed catalogue entries providing information on important collections brought into the BL to be preserved and made accessible. It would be wonderful for us to have feedback on the way our catalogue works for this repertoire and I'd be interested in the potential for using the network as a means for improving our systems in line with the communities specific requirements. I'd be happy to talk more about our inclusion (or otherwise) if that's appropriate.


Janet (Topp Fargion)

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