Examining the potential delivery of the RAMLine project – a coherent structure for the delivery of music-based education
Anthony Pitts, Royal Academy of Music
The RAMline is to be a powerful and intuitive tool enabling swift and precise navigation to required information, and – by the searching/browsing process itself – the discovery of additional, unexpected avenues for related research and exploration. The keys to achieving this goal are firstly the ability to search for content without knowing where the content is held (as the global references to musicians and musical works are purely abstract), and secondly the possibility of discovering unanticipated content while browsing through many, infinitely-varied virtual journeys. Partly mirroring the cognitive spectrum model of pioneer computer scientist David Gelernter, the RAMline is designed to enable both focused searching for information or resources relating to a specific event, person, or musical work, and browsing via thematic and causal links. It thus makes equally accessible the general (e.g. 18th-century music, or music inspired by Shakespeare) and the particular (e.g. Kirk McElhearn’s review of a 2001 recording conducted by Christoph Poppen of Anton Webern’s arrangement of the Ricercar a 6 from J.S.Bach’s Musical Offering).
The major achievements of the RAMline project in this Phase:
a) bringing together musicological, technological, and pedagogical approaches to musical history and aesthetics;
b) defining a usable abstraction of musical behaviour into a syntax of subjects (people), objects (works), and actions (events);
c) exploring in part the practical outcomes of such unprecedented connectivity.
The RAMline project is particularly innovative in its method of classifying interaction between human beings and intellectual works.