Folk traditions are often associated with a sense of amateur craft, of ‘do-it-yourself’ ideals, of being of the ‘common man’. This ideal can also be seen in the development of specific digital tools and platforms for use with folk activities. That is not to say that these are not created to a professional standard, but they are often developed and managed by individuals or small groups as hobbies or microbusinesses. Arguably one of the most specific technical developments in relation to folk is the development of ABC notation (a system not unlike solfege which uses text to indicate the pitch, note length, time signature etc. thus allowing for a simple way to transmit notation in email without the need for specialist music notation programs). This development in the early 1990s has led to a plethora of code and programs being created to process ABC notation into stave notation, midi signals and various forms of image. Many of these programs are open source and regularly shared. They have also fed into a number of online resources to access notation of folk musics using note based searches, as well as titles and titles of recordings (session.org, tunefinder, TunePal etc.) These digital technical developments have revolutionised the way in which any form of participant conducts personal learning, session recording, online discussion and specialist research. In many cases the appearance of these online resources is accompanied by catalogues of recordings, links to other websites and discussion forums. Alongside these are various online sites that utilise wiki architecture to create folk related encyclopaedia as well as specific apps for pervasive and portable devices that relate to specific folk activities, such as virtual instruments.
Recent Blog Posts
- Digital Folk conference – registration now open! February 9, 2017
- Digital Folk one-day conference: invitations for submissions now open! November 4, 2016
- Digital Folk welcomes new Research Associate, Dr Lucy Wright! April 25, 2016
- New Research Associate post on the Digital Folk team January 8, 2016
- Post-Symposium Thoughts – Participatory Arts in the Digital Age… December 21, 2015