[Smt-talk] A new "citizen science"/crowd-sourcing project for music

art samplaski agsvtp at hotmail.com
Tue Jun 5 10:10:55 PDT 2012

Dear List:

A new crowd-sourcing project, related to music, has just launched from
the Zooniverse.

The "Z" is an umbrella for multiple citizen science projects. The first
and most famous is the Galaxy Zoo project, wherein members of the public
(almost 650,000 to date) helped to sort through and classify a million
images of galaxies from an automated sky survey. In result, a number of
important and wholly unexpected discoveries have been made by members of
the public, with no professional astronomy training--the most famous of
these is Hanny's Voorwerp, a galaxy-sized glowing gas cloud discovered
by Dutch music teacher Hanny Van Arkel. The utterly overwhelming success
of Galaxy Zoo--allegedly, the day it went live the site got so many hits
that they didn't just crash the server, they blew the circuit breaker for
the building:)--was recognized by astronomers, and then by workers in
other (non-quadrivium) disciplines, as indicating that a New Golden Age of
Research Possibilities(tm) now exists thanks to cheap Internet connections.

One established non-astro project of possible interest to SMT and AMS
members is Ancientlives.Org, a project to transcribe the thousands of
papyrus fragments uncovered at Oxyrhynchus in Egypt--in essence, sorting
the pieces of the world's biggest jigsaw puzzle.:) The new project just
announced today is "What's The Score?" (http://whats-the-score.org), to
help provide various bibliographic meta-data for several thousand scores
at the Bodleian Library at Oxford. The scores are mostly 19th c. sheet
music, but there are apparently others. I have not done a score yet--the
announcement just arrived a short while ago, and a heads-up to the list
was more important--but the information being sought, according to the
Guidelines, is almost all cataloging-related. Only "Prevailing Key" and
"Tempo" seem to require reading knowledge of music.

Anyone interested in taking part needs to establish a login userid. This
allows one access to _all_ the various Zooniverse projects: multiple
astronomy-related projects (including searching current data from the
Kepler probe for extrasolar planets:), the papyri transcriptions, whale
songs, and climate, as well as this new music project. If you go to


you can establish an account for yourself and click away. I will warn
everyone: from personal experience, these can become a _VERY_ easy way
to waste lots of time and bandwidth.:) But hey, it's doing research;
and that's part of what we're about, eh?

Wishing clear skies to everyone for today's transit of Venus (rain date:
Dec. 11, 2117!),

Art Samplaski
Ithaca, NY

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