IU Receives $3 Million Grant to Create Digital Music Library
Sept. 20, 2000
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University announced plans today (Sept. 20) to
create a groundbreaking digital library to support research and education in the
field of music using a $3 million grant from Digital Libraries Initiative-Phase
2, a multi-agency federal program with funding from the National Science
Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
With the click of a mouse, students and faculty will have access to a
collection of music in a variety of formats and from a range of musical styles
and types. For example, students will be able to listen to sound recordings
while displaying images of musical scores, or they may listen to computer
generated music while viewing computerized score notation or even improvising a
new part on a computerized music keyboard.
The four-year grant will allow IU information technology specialists,
researchers, librarians and music experts to establish a digital music library
testbed, develop computer applications for education and research in the field
of music and seek answers to the thorny issues surrounding music-related
intellectual property rights. IU will develop software tools and applications to
support music teaching, learning, and research. More information about the
project is available on the Web at
"Information technology is changing the landscape of modern universities,"
said IU President Myles Brand. "This project will help expand the impact of
technology beyond its traditional core in the sciences by developing innovative
applications for teaching and research in music.
"Information technology provides a wealth of opportunities to advance the
frontiers of knowledge in the arts and humanities," Brand said. "Indiana
University is pleased to receive this award and applauds the collaborative
efforts of the School of Library and Information Science, the School of Music,
the University Libraries, and the Office of the Vice President for Information
"Digital libraries are among the university's top priorities for information
technology," said Michael McRobbie, IU vice president for information
technology, chief information officer and principal investigator for the
project. "This project will combine development of a state-of-the-art digital
library system with the creation of software that uses the digital music library
in research and teaching. Underpinning and helping steer this project will be
essential research in the areas of intellectual property and human-computer
Applications using the digital music library for music instruction will be
designed and developed by faculty in the IU School of Music, widely respected as
one of the world's leading institutions for the study of music.
"The digital music library project will make possible major innovations in
the use of computer technology and digital media for music research and
education," said Gwyn Richards, interim dean of the IU School of Music.
"This project builds on the strengths of Indiana University," said Suzanne
Thorin, Ruth Lilly University Dean of University Libraries. "The university's
digital library program seeks to make the university's unique resources broadly
available and to build on university strengths. Creating a world-class digital
music library to complement the world-class School of Music is a perfect fit."
IU's development and demonstration of the digital music library for access
and instruction will significantly advance the state of knowledge and practice
in digital libraries. The project will seek to move digital libraries into a new
phase beyond creating, organizing and disseminating digital objects -- the
immersion of digital content in the education and research processes.
"How do we create a digital music library that is useful and usable?" asked
Blaise Cronin, dean of the School of Library and Information Science. "What
kinds of needs do users have? What sort of functionality do they expect? How do
we design for optimal usability? And how do we protect intellectual property
rights in distributed environments? These are some of the research questions
we'll be tackling in this project."
The digital music library will be available to students, faculty, librarians
and library patrons at IU. High-speed national and international networks will
make the system available to selected users at remote locations in the United
States and overseas who are assisting in the research: University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign, University of Massachusetts-Amherst and Northwestern
University in the United States.; King's College, Loughborough University and
Oxford University in the United Kingdom; and Waseda University in Japan.
Faculty researchers on the project have a variety of academic backgrounds,
including computer science, information science, law and music. The project is
an outgrowth of IU's Digital Library Program, a university-wide collaboration of
the IU Libraries, the Office of the Vice President for Information Technology,
and academic researchers led by the School of Library and Information Science.
IU is one of 23 members of the Digital Library Federation, a consortium of
research libraries that are transforming themselves and their institutional
roles by exploiting network and digital technologies.
(Karen Adams, UITS, 812-856-5596,