Carolin Rindfleisch, (Faculty of Music, University of Oxford), gives a talk for the 2016 Digital Humanities at Oxford Summer School.
Richard Wagner’s music, and particularly his composition with ‘leitmotifs’ (musical entities with a characteristic identity, that are used to construct musical form and to convey musical meaning) have been interpreted differently in a wide variety of academic as well as audience-aimed introductory literature. A comprehensive analysis of these interpretations can help us find out how Wagner’s music-dramas have been heard, seen and understood in different historical and cultural environments. Using this example, the lecture presents how methods and techniques of Linked Data and Semantic Web can facilitate a large-scale reception study that can deal with a wide range of source material and still compare interpretations in detail. It will discuss different ways of digitally enhancing the study of the reception and interpretation of artworks, and address the question of how we can reconcile these methods with more traditional methodologies in the Humanities. It will focus particularly on presenting the design of an ontology that not only enables the linking and structuring of digitised source material, but also enables the systematic representation and comparison of the interpretations contained in the sources.