Citations: The Renaissance Imitation Mass Project


Building upon recent developments in digital music scholarship, CRIM (Citations: The Renaissance Imitation Mass) implements a new kind of quotable text for music, along with the analysis and commentary that illuminates its workings.The CRIM project is the product of a long partnership between Haverford College and the Centre d’Études Supérieures de la Renaissance (Tours, France), and among an international team of scholars, students, and information technologists. It grapples with allusive relationships among musical works of the sixteenth century, and with the challenges of modeling scholarly annotations of these connections in the digital domain. Our work charts much new territory, exploring a neglected genre of Renaissance music via technologies that only a few years ago were beyond our grasp. CRIM extends and enhances an topological approach to analysis and digital editions undertaken in The Lost Voices Project.

The products of our efforts will include:

  • Vocabularies for Analysis and Annotation, including music-theoretical language for description and analysis; systems of encoding; and addressable representation. The Open Annotation paradigm will be extended to musical scores presented via the Music Encoding Initiative standard, thereby creating an innovative ontology for describing any critical commentary about any musical work or passage;
  • Instances and Citations of theoretical/contrapuntal types, and of kinds of relationships between works. Tracing the connections among these many small-scale observations will inaugurate a new type of multi-author work in musicology, with the capacity for us to collate and cite any person, work, or musical pattern in relation to larger insights about the music;
  • Narratives and Projections of broader perspectives on changing musical style, analytic paradigms, and cultural contexts through essays and digital examples that explore both individual works and large sets of them, too, in ways previously impossible on account of our limited capacity for managing large numbers of observations, instances, and examples. We will also reflect on the changing state of musical texts, both in Renaissance prints (the new medium of its day) and in digital form (the new medium of our own time), as manifest in both individually-authored and collaborative papers, graduate seminars, and musical classroom discussions hosted on the CRIM website, or published in traditional forms using CRIM citations as enhancements and examples.
  • Pedagogical Modules that can be used by anyone to advance the study of Renaissance music and digital literacy, using CRIM tools, as well as those of our extended circle of collaborators.

In addition to the various About and Help pages on this site, please visit the CRIM Workspace and Editorial Hub to learn more about CRIM methods and tools.