University of Richmond Music Professors Awarded NEH Grant For Project on Music-Making in the Digital Age

August 30, 2021

UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND — Joanna Love and Andrew McGraw, music professors at the University of Richmond, have been awarded nearly $50K in grant funding for their project “America's Music Scenes in the Age of Social Media.”

Through a National Endowment for the Humanities Digital Humanities Advancement Grant, Love and McGraw will coordinate a series of workshops designed to identify the best methods for collecting and archiving data for music events promoted online.

"Our project responds to a new crisis in American music scholarship — the digital revolution has led to the digitization or dissolution of traditional archival sources, including newspapers and magazines, mediums that have long been crucial to studying local music scenes,” said Love.

“While existing web archiving projects capture some relevant content, they are biased towards established genres and artists and miss most events advertised solely through social media,” said McGraw. “This dataset is difficult to capture, yet essential to understanding 21st-century music-making."

The main goal of this project is to develop a pilot dataset and expand on previous work on AudibleRVA, a digital humanities project McGraw created to study Richmond’s soundscape. The outcome of this work will be the creation of an archive and new interdisciplinary insights into music-making in the digital age.

The project involves collaboration with a nationwide team, including musicologists, librarians, archivists, and digital humanities and technical experts. Collaborators include UR faculty sociology professor Matthew Oware, Digital Scholarship Lab director Robert Nelson, and law professor Christopher Cotropia.

Joanna Love, an associate professor of music, researches American and popular music in multimedia and has published extensively on music in U.S. national brand and political advertising. She is the author of the book Soda Goes Pop: Pepsi-Cola Advertising and Popular Music

Andrew McGraw, an associate professor of music, is an ethnomusicologist with expertise in Southeast Asian traditional and experimental music, intercultural performance, and rhythm analysis. In Richmond he facilitates community gamelan and stringband ensembles and runs a music program in the Richmond City Jail.


The NEH Office of Digital Humanities offers grant programs that fund project teams experimenting with digital technologies to develop new methodologies for humanities research, teaching and learning, public engagement, and scholarly communications.