ASW 2015: The Bigger, the Better – A Big Data History of Music

IAML (UK & Irl)

Karen McAulay gets in touch with her Inner Geek…

It is strange to think that only a decade ago, hardly anyone would have heard of big data. For something so large, it’s relatively easy to get your head around the concept. Big data is where you assemble such an enormous quantity of digital data that you are able to analyse it and make it tell a story. A fascinating story, in fact. (Or am I just such a geek that it satisfies some geeky need deep within myself? No, that can’t be right – because there are plenty of other people equally enthralled with it!)

Sacred music wordle.With kind permission of the British Library. Sacred music wordle.
With kind permission of the British Library.

In order to work with “big data”, you need a high volume of data, high velocity and high variety; perhaps unsurprisingly, a great amount of work has already been done in the sciences. However, the

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