Submissions/Carnatic music on Wikimedia Commons

From Wikimania


This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Submission no. 5009 Subject - G4
Title of the submission
Making Wikipedia a little more musical
Type of submission (lecture, panel, tutorial/workshop, roundtable discussion, lightning talk, poster, birds of a feather discussion)
Author of the submission
Language of presentation
E-mail address
Country of origin
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (up to 300 words to describe your proposal)
The presence of Indian classical music on Wikipedia is limited mostly to music theory. As someone who has been learning classical music since my childhood, reading about music, while being unable to hear it, is something I wanted to change. Over the last 2 years I have been working to | increase the recordings on Wikimedia Commons that pertain to Indian Classical music that have led me on interesting adventures, and also improved my understanding of the state of such recordings in India. The process to collect recordings has included:
  • Filing RTIs with the All India Radio
  • Visiting culture centers currently associated with the government of India, asking to release recordings.
  • Writing to and meeting with artists, both professional and amateur, with requests to contribute their recordings
  • Evangelising the CC-by-* licenses to my elderly music teacher, and her friends, and friends of her friends and so on.
  • Locating archival recordings, and old recordings whose copyright has expired in India
  • Locating music online that is under a freely available license
  • The usage of such recordings on pages unrelated to music, and the cultural context around the same.
  • Legal/ethical complications in procuring such recordings, and my thoughts/work around the same
  • Many many interesting stories and adventures that I have had while pursuing this project.

The talk will cover the feedback of the community to the project so far, and the future of this project in the context of YouTube and other media sharing websites like SoundCloud and Vimeo, and requests for insights and thoughts from the community. There will also be a short live piece from ancient Tamil poetry!

What will attendees take away from this session?
  • Insight into starting projects around locating online archives and free media recordings.
  • I will share some of my automation scripts to gather information about free recordings from the internet.
  • Being a beginner on Wikipedia and starting a brand new project, and making a case for yourself.
  • The state of musical recordings on Wikipedia and why we need to do more, particularly in the context of collecting media around niche or rare cultures
  • Interesting use-cases of such recordings on Wikipedia
Theme of presentation
  • Legal & Free Culture
  • GLAM
For workshops and discussions, what level is the intended audience?
Length of session (if other than 25 minutes, specify how long)
25 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
Depends on funding.
Slides or further information (optional)
Special requests
Is this Submission a Draft or Final?

This is a Completed submission for Wikimania 2017 ready to be reviewed by a member of the Programme Committee.

Interested attendees

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  1. I'd love to hear this, and not just the talking, but the sound itself: Add as much actual music to it as possible! :) --Amir É. Aharoni (talk) 14:46, 8 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Yes, please let us hear it! Are you feeding into Wikiradio? I see it has an India channel. Daniel Mietchen (talk) 02:56, 9 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Agree with Amir. Graham87 (talk) 05:47, 11 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  4. The project is very interesting and much needed! The talk could lead to discussions on how music (as knowledge) is shared and made available to all across different cultures and societies. The session looks promising - one that I would make sure to catch! #Srravya (talk) 05:39, 12 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Sounds great! Looking forward to this session. #Pcpeters (talk) 13:14, 22 April 2017 (UTC)[reply]