A Fond Farewell to CURI 2019

This summer took me to so many places, metaphorical and otherwise. After arriving a few weeks late from choir tour, I jumped straight back into thinking about mapping and spent a fair amount of time trying to re-immerse myself in texts that could tell me more about...

CURI 2019: Final Blog Post

Somehow 10 weeks of CURI concludes tomorrow! Time flies when you're in an ongoing battle with WordPress. This summer has been very eye-opening in many ways, but I think I have grown the most in the visual design aspect of the project. One of the unique things about...

Rethinking What Archival Data Has to Offer

After a week in the archives of the Library of Congress and Howard University's Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, we've arrived back on campus with more data than we were expecting -- a considerably larger amount. Between the two institutions, there were five...

The Pitfalls of Symbolism

Part of this summer project is looking at our data from the January H.T. Burleigh and figuring out what the next steps are in interpreting this data. For an example of a similar mapping exercise, check out this post about my attempts to understand the race of...

Racial Census Data Breakthrough

After a week of struggling to find geographic breakdowns of census records for the early 1900s, we did it! Actually Ann Schaenzer did it. Thea and I went to her today to ask if she knew of any good resources, and she pointed us to Social Explorer. Not only does this...

Jumping in to Research!

I’m back at St. Olaf and ready for summer research! After spending a few months away from our H.T. Burleigh maps and progress on the musicalgeography.org website it has been surprisingly comforting to be back at the research routine. I am so impressed by the amount of...

Practice Map: Burleigh Performing Burleigh

It's time to get back into the swing of things! This map was a quick build in order to practice embedding audio samples (via Spotify) into ArcGIS. I used data from Dr. Snyder's Burleigh bible to include 13 known instances of Burleigh performing his own work. Each data...

Where We’ve Been and Where We’re Heading

CURI 2019 is here! The sun is out and the Musical Geography website is open on my computer. Especially after reading through the interim team’s final blog posts, it is clear that we accomplished so much more than we thought we would.  For one, all of our maps are in...

Moving Forward with Maps

Over the course of this interim term, I have done extensive researching, map making, and web-app building. Today, as a class, we were finally able to present our work to the general public, and wow was it gratifying. When you are buried in folders upon folders of...

My Future is in the Digital Humanities

This past interim studying H.T. Burleigh has been a whirlwind.  Starting out the first week of class, I definitely felt overwhelmed by the magnitude of work we had to undertake.  Especially coming off of the East Asian music mapping project in which I had a rough time...

Farewell, For Now

If there was only one thing I could take away from this interim, it would be a whole lot of gratitude for being only a first year student.  This project on H.T. Burleigh, besides all the valuable information I’ve learned on early American music and composers, besides...

Burleigh Scratching the Surface

As we wrap up a month of research, it feels fitting to reflect on the things I’ve learned over the past few weeks. When I was writing the prose for the introduction of our project page and the “Mapping H.T. Burleigh” section, I found myself trying to grapple with the...

What a Month

In my usual way, I went about starting this blog post by trying to come up with a witty (at least to me) title. Check out hits like On the Media (for you NPR fans), and Pulling Out All the Stops. Seeing as this is my wrap-up of H.T. Burleigh research, this title...

A List For the Next Brave Soul

For my last blog post as apart of the Winter 2019 team, I would like to offer my reflection in the form of a list containing my biggest takeaways from this experience. If this was a CD, it would be a compilation album of all jams. Time is Money… But So Are Breaks:...

Goodbye Burleigh, Until Next Time

Throughout the entirety of January, I worked with eleven other hard-working student researchers to create our final project, The Life and Legacy of H.T. Burleigh, and what a month it has been! I wasn’t sure what the culmination of our efforts would look like, but I am...

Final Reflection

Final Reflection

Harry Thacker Burleigh, the man, the myth, the legend. Through the course of these past few weeks I have taken on many different projects and roles, each of which has informed my learning throughout the month. I will go into detail on each of the aspects of this...

Data Rich Sources, Where are They?

I have had amazing results from online Newspaper collections where data streams into my spreadsheets at over 20 entries per hour. Other sources have not been so fruitful. Textbooks and periodical collections include more steps to transcribe data and are often less...

A side-project on Dvorak

Though the main focus of this month has been on the life and music of Harry T. Burleigh, one of the common ways he is known is as a student of Antonin Dvorak at the National Conservatory of Music in the early 1890s. While studying with Dvorak, Burleigh would sometimes...

On the Media

Greetings from the final week of Music Geography 396 here at St. Olaf College! We've split into groups depending on our specialties in the spirit of efficient and equal work responsibilities for this project on H.T. Burleigh. I was in two groups at the start of the...

It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday

While this phrase is the title to a classic Boyz II Men song, it doubles for my feelings on the phase of research I just finished ⎯ looking at the racial makeup of various places Burleigh performed or spoke at. At first, I was excited to add this element to our data...

Data, Data, and more Data!

As a data scientist (of sorts), I'm feeling quite at home in the layers and layers of spreadsheets that represent all the research we've done to date.  I've learned a few things during my time amongst the data, so I figured I'd share these things here. 1. Format is...

Letter From an Editor

When we began this project, one of our first readings was parts of Mark Monmonier’s How to Lie with Maps1. Now that Jacob and I are working on our editing specialization, I’m reminded that his lessons apply to words as well. That might seem like a little bit of a...

Shoveling in a Blizzard

As our research project on H.T. Burleigh is beginning to come to a close, we've been assigned specialization tasks to divvy up the final work that has to be done in order to get the maps finished.  Alongside Ian, I've been given the role of a data specialist, and my...

Re-Researching

As we are beginning to piece together our project on H. T. Burleigh, our class has divided into a handful of different specializations in order to create a more polished, cohesive project. I am looking forward to taking on another week of researching with Jessie and...

I’m the Map(maker)

Though we have been making maps throughout the month, it is only this past week when we have been instructed to finish up our research on the various areas of the life of Harry T Burleigh and begin constructing our final maps and project. The students have been...

A Letter to Future Editors

As we begin to wrap up this month of research and map-making, the class has been divided up into different areas of specialization. My area of writing and editing the prose for the final project page is one that I’m particularly excited about. First, the other editor,...

Research Across the Sea: Finding Burleigh Abroad

The most recent challenge that has popped up in my Burleigh research is tracking down places where his compositions were performed abroad. Over the past week, I have been focusing on rounding out my Paul Robeson and Roland Hayes research, trying to fill in gaps of...

Just Keep… Researching?

In my work on musicological mapping up to this point, I have found that by far my greatest and most important asset has been persistence. At this point in the term, our class has divided mostly into smaller subgroups each tasked with researching and mapping different...

Different Perspectives in Research

Conducting research on someone from an era as foreign to me as the early 20th century is really a blessing as much as it is a curse.  Of course, being almost one and a half centuries younger than H. T. Burleigh has left me with a severe lack of knowledge of his...

Programs and Archives and Maps, Oh My!

I cannot believe we have reached the halfway point of our month-long DUR course. There are only two more weeks to gather and finalize data before sending our maps out into the growing world of digital humanities. In order to learn more about the spread of H. T....

Diverging paths

It has been about a week since we started looking at the life of Harry Burleigh, and I have learned much more than I expected over this short time. I was initially tasked with mapping Burleigh's relationships in the context of the Harlem Renaissance, which is a really...

Early Burleigh: Erie Beginnings

After reworking maps from the Atlas Historique de la Musique or from A History of Western Music last week, our class has now delved into our research on H. T. Burleigh and started to plot our first sprinklings of data onto maps. My researching and mapping is focused...

Genealogical Investigation

In our search for sources with specific location information, Latitude-Longitude pairs or street address, I decided to search for Harry T. Burleigh in the genealogical databases Familysearch.org and Ancestry.com. Before long, I worked my way through all available...

5 Things I’ve Learned So Far

I am three weeks into my research on the people H.T. Burleigh knew, and it has been full of so many different twists and turns. But researching is different for everyone. Today, I’m going to share with you the 5 things I’ve learned through our research thus far. 1....

Down the Rabbit-Hole, Don’t Stop Digging

In an attempt to better understand the life and impact of HT Burleigh, my group has decided to look at his influence through the lives of three of his most notable mentees and contemporaries: Paul Robeson, Marian Anderson, and Roland Hayes. Each of these influential...

Atlas Tragique de la Musique

The Atlas Historique de la Musique map of Conservatories, Festivals, and Opera Houses in Eastern Europe and Beyond was eye catching because of its simplicity, but was confusing for the same reason. As many others did with their own maps, our goal was for the map to...

Look Mom, a Map!

Over the past week, our class has split into groups tasked with the goal of recreating/updating a preexisting physical map in a digital form. We've learned about data formatting, digital tools, (Google Maps and ArcGIS online) important stylistic and aesthetic...

Digitizing and Improving Maps

The goal of our first mapping assignment this January was to take an existing map that says something about music, then digitize it and improve it in ways that would make it useful to a music scholar or a music history student. The map I chose to digitize was the...

A Mingling of Minds and Maps

After trying separately to fix Les Voyages de Mozart, Izzy and I got together to combine maps. We immediately realized that in trying to solve some of the problems of the original map, we created maps that looked almost nothing alike. Whereas I tried to follow the...

Pulling out all the stops

Its been a week now since we first started on this mapping endeavor, which also means that I've spent the last week researching ancient organs in France. For our first assignment, I selected a map on the "La Diffusion de l'Orgue dans le Chrétienté Occidentale" or the...

New Map, Same Data

The Protestant Reformation happened over 500 years ago, so why should we still care about it? It was just a whole bunch of religious white men arguing with each other, right? Well to some extent, yes. But the Reformation changed the entire world, especially in regards...

Musicologists Dream of Cartography

Interim 2019 and our DUR (directed undergraduate research) has begun with data compilation and presentation on a variety of topics ranging from Conservatories of East Asia to the topic to which I have been assigned, Music Centers of 17th Century Italy. My impetus...

A Place to Start…

One summer, when I was maybe eleven years old, my friends and I decided to draw a map out of chalk that took up the entire street of the cul-de-sac so that we could use our razor scooters and bicycles on our drawn roads. Now, I’m a senior in college and I’m still...

Uncertainty and Some Organs I Found…

After just three days of class, I have learned much more about the 8th-century organ builder Georgios than I ever could’ve dreamed. After selecting a map to remake about the diffusion of the organ between the 1st and 15th centuries in Europe I have started to...

Map-making: Trial, Error, and a Lot of Patience

I am sure every researcher has been prepped about the necessity and inevitability of failure in the research process. That being said, it still came as a surprise to me when I realized just how difficult thorough data collection is while trying to envision how I would...

First Lessons

Boy it has been a busy few days. When I first started last Thursday I had never heard of GIS, Google MyMaps, critical spatial thinking, the digital/spatial humanities, or data cleaning. Not to mention the various Renaissance composers, works, or cities that have been...

Playing with Lies and Lines

There's something about making a map that feels incredibly nostalgic, and maybe even light-hearted.  I don't know if its simply working with colors and visuals that brings me back to scribbling capitals onto the pictures of states in grade school or sketching the deer...

If It Ain’t Baroque, Don’t Fix It…

The purpose of mapping has always been to convey information, whether specifically or generally.  In recent years, the so-called "spacial turn" has changed what kind of information maps should convey, but it didn't change that fundamental truth.  Maps in the 21st...

Uncertainty is My Middle Name

There is a quote from Diana Sinton’s “Critical Spatial Thinking” that stuck during the first read through, and will continue to stick with me as the mapping process continues: “eliminating uncertainty may be an impossible task but acknowledging and understanding it is...

What Makes a Genre?

What defines a genre of music? Who gets to authoritatively determine that their definition is correct? When discussing folk song, it already is difficult enough to find a way to securely define it. Then, when we aim to divide the category up further, even more...

Digitally Displaying Distinctive Data

Every song collected has a story. Consider where it came from - perhaps a 12th c Scottish farmboy hummed a song to himself that later was heard in a field in Kentucky, passed down from plantation owner to slave. Consider who sang it - was it a child, unaware of hidden...

Categorizing Race and Music – a Map-maker’s Quandry

During the process of mapping, we must figure out how to categorize our data. Shall we look at it chronologically? Shall we see how many times a song was performed, and where a song was performed? Given the nature of my research on Lomax and Scarborough's music...

That’s a Wrap!

This summer has been an absolute whirlwind. I've learned so much about digital mapping, Darius Milhaud, and my own researching style and abilities. So, I've compiled a list of things that I've learned this summer along with some tips and tricks to help...

Mapping Parisian Salons

Introduction This summer, I pursued an independent research project focusing on the salons of late 19th and early 20th century Paris. I set out to create a comprehensive map of salons from the era that listed relevant information so that...

Fortnight in Paris: Reflections

The last blog post I made was right before I got on a plane to Paris to do archival research. And now, after two weeks, I have the opportunity to reflect a little bit on the time I spent there. It was a fantastic blur of research, sight-seeing, and LOTS of walking. I...

Where am I?

You’ve heard us wax poetic about the research process, the glories of mapping, the people and stories we have discovered over the summer, but really you may find yourself wondering: what has this research team accomplished? First of all, a lot. Secondly...

La recherche: un processus imprévisible et sans fin

Comme l'a dit Francis Jacob : "La recherche est un processus sans fin dont on ne peut jamais dire comment il évoluera." Cet été, j'ai eu la très grande opportunité d'avoir été acceptée pour un projet de recherche intitulé "La géographie de la musique". Ce projet, qui...

Letters as an informative tool for research

The past few weeks have been for the Musical Geography team a sort of travel through primary sources. Among the many things that were on our agenda, we spent the past week looking at a collection of letters written by/to Darius Milhaud, which Professor Epstein had the...

Paris Bound!

Tomorrow at 2:25 pm I embark on a research adventure to the City of Lights! I am crossing the Atlantic to navigate a totally different research world, armed with little more than a letter from Professor Epstein, a friendly smile, and two years of French...

Musings of a Digital Humanities Convert

As a humanist, I have a natural aversion to technology. I lump digital technology into the camp of “those math and science people,” rarely post on social media, and regularly participate in the discourse that criticizes recent technological advancement for “taking...

The Music Teacher

Composer. Organist. Pedagogue. Nadia Boulanger is widely regarded as one of the most influential music teacher's of the 20th century.  Her teaching position at the American Conservatory at Fontainebleau helped mold a new generation of American composers, including...

La Princesse de Polignac: Defender of Modernism

  In Alex Ross's book The Rest is Noise, he paints a fascinating picture of the musical life of the twentieth century. He interweaves detailed descriptions of composers, patrons, venues, and music theory to explore what the twentieth century might have sounded...

Why are we doing this?

  This morning, my research team and I presented our goals for this summer's iteration of the Musical Geography Project at the CURI Symposium. Now that we've had to consolidate our ideas for the project and present them in public, we have a much clearer idea of...

Welcome to the Musical Geography Project.

Project Overview My colleagues and I want to change the way you think about music using Musical Geography. But what exactly is Musical Geography? As we understand it, Music Geography is the exploration of the intersection of time, space, and sound using mapping...

When in doubt, make a map!

It's amazing how it can take almost two weeks to really develop the goals of a project. I have discovered that it is through active work that we seem do the best learning and growing. I think even after these last weeks of intensive research, we will still be...

Mapping to uncover trends

Making maps today once again proved to be a very helpful experience. In fact, as proven in yesterday's readings, making maps is not only done for the fact that they offer a visual representation of things but also because they often times help make arguments or...