From Digital Humanities to a Humanities of the Digital – Special Focus

University of British Columbia
Vancouver Campus, Vancouver, Canada
17-19 June 2015

I’ll be presenting a paper at the above conference titled, ‘The Listening Experience Database Project: Collating the Responses of the “Ordinary Listener” to Prompt New Insights into Musical Experience’, co-authored by: Dr. Helen Barlow, Dr. Alessandro Adamou, Dr. Mathieu d’Aquin.


The Listening Experience Database ( is the first project to collate and interrogate a mass of personal experiences of listening to music. Such accounts have received only isolated attention because they are challenging to locate and gather en masse. An extensive body of data about the responses of “ordinary listeners” (as opposed to professional critics) thus offers new ways of approaching music-related research. The underlying information system relies on linked data, including a knowledge base that is itself a linked dataset. The data management workflow fully supports both systematic contributions from the project team and crowdsourced input where knowledgeability and completeness of information can be expected to vary widely. The database demonstrates the potential of a mass of data as a robust evidential base for our understanding of how music functions in society. It contributes a large body of structured data to the global Web of Data. Through crowdsourcing, it taps into knowledge that exists beyond the academic world. The project not only contributes directly to the linked data paradigm, but also prompts new directions for anyone investigating the reception of music, including performers, teachers, social historians, musicologists, psychologists, and those working in the creative industries.