This article uses data from concert-diary to analyse the impact of this year’s Covid-19 restrictions on classical concert activity in England. The website concert-diary.com is a listing of (mainly classical) concerts, primarily in the UK. Any concert promoter is able to submit details of their events, so, whilst not covering all UK concert activity, the listings include a wide range of small and large concerts, in various formats and genres, from across the country. Historical data on the site goes back to the year 2000.Continue reading →
Here is a short festive quiz based on the lyrics of the top 30 carols on the carols.org.uk website. The challenge is to identify the carol from words that appear only in the lyrics of that carol and no other. So “merrily”, for example, only appears in one carol (clue: Ding Dong). It is just for fun – there is no prize other than a smug feeling and whatever you decide to reward yourself with!Continue reading →
This article in the series covering the Eighteenth Century London Concerts dataset looks at composers. As previously discussed, composers can be identified as the names preceding a “Genre” code in the list of entries in the dataset’s “Programme” field. In most cases they can also be associated with the genre of the work in question (and sometimes the precise work can be identified, although this information is quite patchy).Continue reading →
A recent addition to the Concert Datasets page is Operabase, a database of over 500,000 opera performances worldwide since 2004. I plan to look at this data more closely in a future article, but for now, I thought it would be interesting to see if opera performances follow a power law.1Continue reading →
This article looks at the types of repertoire included in eighteenth-century London concerts. As discussed in the first article of this series, information on the works performed is encoded, in a complicated way, in the “programme” field of the dataset.
The data is based on concert advertisements in newspapers, so there is considerable variation in the detail provided. Some advertisements spell out details of all of the works and who will perform them, but it is more typical for the focus to be on the performers, with the works often vaguely specified, such as “a concerto by Handel” (if you are lucky, it will say what instrument it is for).Continue reading →
This article in the series exploring the Eighteenth Century London Concerts dataset looks at when the concerts were held. This covers questions such as in which decade or year they took place, at what point during the year, on which days of the week, and at what times of day? And how did this vary according to the type of concert?Continue reading →
In this article about the Eighteenth Century London Concerts dataset, I will look in more detail at the prices of concert tickets.
The published data has multiple prices and categories listed in single cells of the spreadsheet. This needs to be parsed before it can be used for statistical analysis.Continue reading →
I’m delighted to have my article about power laws and musical fame and obscurity featured on the cover of this month’s Significance magazine.
It has been a pleasure to work with the editor Brian Tarran to get the article ready for publication. It is a condensed version of my longer paper Fame, Obscurity and Power Laws in Music History, published a couple of months ago.
The first article in this series looked at how to get the data on Eighteenth Century London Concerts into a more usable form, and the second geocoded the locations and classified the venues by type. In this third article, we will start the analysis of the data by looking in more detail at the distribution of concert venues.Continue reading →