Demonstration

Particulars

Extent

This prototype indexes and describes in the region of thirty sources, seven of which are provided with digital surrogates (in this case digitised images); it contains in the region of thirty biographies of varying levels of detail, and over one hundred pieces of reception information drawn from sources such as book reviews, concert descriptions, diary entries, and newspaper articles. Though drawn from a small sample, the prototype website presents a complex network of information across some eight hundred pages that express in the region of three thousand interconnections, all of which are navigable through hyperlinks.

The database and interface have both been coded by the author from scratch, specifically for this research output. This has been a substantial undertaking that, as with all executable codes and the repositories they draw upon, is largely hidden from the end user. The database comprises twenty-eight interlocking tables, some with thousands of entries; the interface runs to several hundred lines of executable code.

Content

The content of the website and database is a combination of newly written material and transcribed (or re-encoded) source material. The biographies and source descriptions accessible from the 'people' and 'source' pages have all been written by the author for inclusion in the database.

Though the medium of the written companion and this prototype website is English, some of the source materials included in the database are in the Welsh language. Unless embedded in the narrative of the written companion and the case studies, these materials have not been translated.

Technical details

The database is encoded and operated in Structured Query Language (SQL) and delivered through a MySQL server. The user interface is written in a combination of HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and CSS. The geographical data visualisations are generated live from the database and make use of MapBox, a commercial mapping system. The site has been tested on a variety of platforms and works with Apple iOS, Apple OS X and Windows with a range of browsers.

Introduction

This prototype website is the digital section of the output of a period of PhD research. It is not a complete or fully representative archive of Welsh traditional music and its sources, but rather an experiment into the possibilities offered by the use of a database with a web-based front-end in the digital indexing and navigation of the archival record of Welsh traditional music, its performance and its reception. In its original context as a PhD submission, it was intended to be be considered in relation to a written companion, which can be obtained from the Open University or the British Library.

The database indexes a number of sources of Welsh traditional music, information about these sources, their contents, the people involved in their creation, and the reception histories of both the sources and the music the contain.

The links above direct the user to a number of maps, case studies and indexes - of sources, people, song titles. The video to the left is intended to provide a brief introduction to using the site, but it can be explored simply by clicking the links on each page. Links should be shown in either grey or blue rather than black text but are not otherwise indicated.

Please note that some of the links are slow to load owing to the nature of the database queries that they perform. Though hopefully less, a wait of 10 to 30 seconds in length can be possible when loading a source page or a song page. If you are having difficulties viewing the website, please check that JavaScript is enabled, or try using a browser such as Firefox, Safari, or Chrome.