1 University of Athens (GREECE)
2 Textensor Limited (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2009 Proceedings
Publication year: 2009
Pages: 4071-4079
ISBN: 978-84-612-7578-6
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 3rd International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 9-11 March, 2009
Location: Valencia, Spain
In this paper we explore the use of a collaborative online annotation tool for enhanced teaching and research of music analysis in higher education. Manual annotation of printed scores on paper has long been the foundation of music analysis. However, collaboration between music analysts in different countries, and discussions on a specific piece under analysis has always been problematic. Moving the process online offers the possibility for sharing and discussion with a group of students or researchers; simpler publication; and a more permanent and readable record of analyses than is possible with paper methods. is an online web2.0 service designed for discussing documents; it lets several people attach notes to highlighted text or figures to a single copy of document using a web browser. Scores can be uploaded in PDF format and annotated in a web browser with no software installation. New comments can be added by highlighting text or particular notes or phrases of the score. Tags / keywords can be added to comments to help classify particular musical phrases depending on the type of analysis. In this case these can be motivic (e.g. 'theme 1'), harmonic ('C minor'), structural ('section A'), paradigmatic ('class 1'), and many more. Other students can reply to any comment, allowing a detailed discussion to occur at a precise point in the score.

To investigate how online annotation can be used as an eLearning tool for teaching music analysis, we ran an analysis exercise using A.nnotate with a class of 16 undergraduate music students at the University of Athens. We created 4 groups of 4 students collaborating on the same score, and instructed them to annotate the primary motives and their transformed occurrences, as well as major key changes.

We found that the main benefits of online annotation were: ability for students to work together on a score without having to be in the same place; having a permanent and readable record of the analysis; an easier way for students to compare their work with analyses done by the lecturer and other groups of students, leading to more discussion; an enjoyable way for students to collaborate on a university assignment.

References: A.nnotate website,

can be added to comments to help classify particular musical phrases, depending on the.