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New Mahler Research Tool by a 2011 Freedman Fellow
The powerful symphonies and songs of Gustav Mahler (1860-1911) have enjoyed enormous growth in popularity since the mid-1960s. Along with increased recordings and scholarly interest in his works, however, there’s also been a growing critical need for a detailed catalog of musical manuscripts and editions. It's a need that will be met by a 2011 Freedman Fellow.
For Dr. Stephen E. Hefling (Music) the 2011 Freedman Fellow Program Award offered new opportunities and support for him to transform Edward Reilly’s lifetime work into a searchable database. Inheriting the work, Hefling was determined to “explore emerging digital tools for annotation and linking of images, sound files, and text in ways that will facilitate the use of the Catalogue by scholars, students, and musicians…expanding the positive impact of this project.”
The result, the Reilly Digital Catalogue of Mahler’s Musical Manuscripts, will be an essential tool that has been lacking for Mahler’s works. Editing and revising the original file ensures uniformity for indexing and transfer to other digital formats, with standardized terms that will allow transformational data manipulation and reorganization by users. Kulas music librarian Stephen Toombs has contributed expertise to the project and says that the incorporation of digital technologies will generate “new understanding of the source material relating to the genesis of Mahler’s work.” and notes that the final result will be a “state of the art musicological research tool.” Hefling says there is global interest as well as U.S. excitement about the project, with potential for additional support from other Mather enthusiasts.
“For Anyone, An Immersion into Mahler with New Levels of Scholarly Content”
Like other Freedman Fellows Program award recipients, Hefling notes and appreciates the “highly collaborative” environment on his project, citing scholars, technical staff expertise, Baker Nord staff and the Kelvin Smith Library. “Others can get started when they wouldn’t have been able to do so otherwise….I can’t imagine getting anywhere close to this point without the Freedman Fellow Award.”
Posted by Karen Oye on April 10, 2012 01:30 PM