The CDS has recently become a partner in the Music and Sound Culture Research Group (MaSC) at NYU Abu Dhabi. The head of the CDS is a co-PI in one of the group’s recently funded projects, involving a muti-faceted approach to music studies comprised of computational analysis of rhythm and preservation of regional heritage materials. The CDS helps manage the preservation aspect of the project, including the description of digitized 78 LPs of East African recordings. We are also working on digitizing cassettes from East Africa, and will eventually describe them with metadata in Archivists’ Tookit in order to create finding aids and publish them online. The originals will be preserved in our Library’s Archives and Special Collections unit. Our most recent acquisition for this project’s archival component is a photo collection of Omani musicians from the Sohar region, that will also be described with metadata in Archivists’ Toolkit and then deposited in the Library’s preservation systems. These collections form the foundation of the MaSC’s archive of regional musical heritage materials. Future steps include making all of these valuable resources available to NYU scholars for research purposes online or in person.
A second component of the MaSC project that is managed and housed in the CDS is the digital compendium that is being created to allow for computational analysis of rhythm. This digital compendium has been tagged with metadata in order to allow scholars to analyze rhythm in music from the Gulf region using a machine-driven process.
Finally, the MaSC partnership has helped us shape the CDS Scholar-in-Residence program, a new initiative that provides workspace for a project and its affiliated scholar within the CDS for an academic year.