Most of us, I would assume, are familiar with the old mnemonic device “five W’s and an H.” I remember learning it in 1st grade, and thought it was both painfully boring and absurdly obvious for something that we had to learn in school. I would much rather have gone and read Harry Potter by myself. Since, however, I have realized just how effective a tool this system can be for providing clear, organized, and succinct descriptions. It’s only natural, then, to put our project through this process and come up with these descriptions. So, the ground we have to cover is Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How.
Who: This one’s pretty easy; in fact, we can answer that a little bit already with our About page. Hopefully, there’ll also be more description of each individual team member up very soon.
What: Again, our about page does a decent job of giving a very quick rundown of our project. In short, we hope to look at the music history of Paris in 1924 through a map, unprecedented in its detail and interactivity in the area of musicology.
When: I mean, I don’t really think I need to write anything here. If you’re wondering, maybe you should read the header.
Where: Just– just look up. Yeah, up there, at the top of the page. It’s in white text on a black bar. Yes, that one. The big white text on the left. There you go.
Why: Now we’re getting to the interesting part. At face value, such a task may seem to be a waste of time – after all, what’s the point of constructing a map, even if no map like it exists, if everything on it is 91 years out of date (and counting)? From a more academic point of view, for what purpose would we need to view all this information geographically? To be rather frank, we don’t know. It’s an interesting idea, and we don’t really know what we’ll find. After all, the goal of the project is not to find some specific set of information, but rather to test to see if it is at all possible to display this kind of information in this way. As we continue to work on the map, we hope to find intriguing connections that raise even more intriguing questions.
How: Most of the methodology of our research involves finding biographies, correspondences, and various archival documents – newspapers, journals, concert programs, and anything else relevant we can get our hands on. We sift through all these sources, and when we find mention of specific performances, we record all the information we can, often relying on other resources to fill in gaps. Ultimately, the key information we want is the type of event or performance, the date, and the location, although we also like to find repertoire, composers, notable performers, those in attendance, and any other information if we can. We also record static locations, such as notable theaters, concert halls, or residences. Ultimately, we hope to plug all of this information into mapping software and tease it into displaying our findings in an appealing and effective manner.