Variations2 in the Classroom: Enhancing Learning with the
Digital Music Library
Eric Isaacson (Indiana University)
NSF DLI2 All-Projects Meeting
2 December 2003

traditional academic music library
Bound score volumes
Pros: browsable, portable, can perform from
Cons: user markings, wear-and-tear, not content-searchable
Sound, video recordings
Pros: portable, random access
Cons: portable, need multiple copies for reserve use, not content-searchable, hard to retrieve from catalog
Books, periodicals (not part of current project)

traditional face-to-face teaching
Classroom presentation: blackboard or transparencies
Pros: highly
interactive, full
instructor control
Cons: transient, legibility, messy, media not easy to synchronize
Scores: photocopied on transparency
Pros: easy to annotate, show location
Cons: Can be hard to read (size), hard to manage multiple pages
Music: Compact disc
Pros: High fidelity
Cons: Retrieval time from library, hard to cue up and extract excerpts from

student assignments/activities
Student given score, asked to listen
Student diagrams form, adds annotations, answers various questions, writes out relevant notation
Focus on score develops inner ear
Develops score-reading skills
Listening seldom done
Focus seldom placed on literature-based listening

variations2: the IU digital music library
Music in multiple forms
Digital audio and video
Scalable scanned score images
Symbolically encoded scores
Enables content-based searching
Enables automated synchronization between formats
Will support new modes of visualization
Support for synchronization of different instances (“multivalent documents”)
Metadata scheme, search interface designed specifically for music
PTools to support use of library content in teaching and learning

variations2 research areas
Metadata (library cataloging)
System design
Intellectual property
Networking (including satellite sites)
Teaching and Learning

search: iucat vs. variations2

variations2 search results

media player

variations2 search results

score viewer

variations2 search results

opus window

multimedia music theory teaching toolkit
MMTT Goals
Support active engagement with library content
Provide domain-appropriate tools for students and instructors suitable for
Face-to-face teaching
Creating assigned activities
Individual exploration
Support sharing, reuse of materials

MMTT: digital timeliner

more MMTT features

Slide 17

 variations2 learning benefits
Improved access to holdings
More holistic approach to music (multiple formats)
Supports active engagement with music
Better environment to develop critical listening skills