Transcription frolic at Colaisde na Gàidhlig March 2020

One of our major community outreach projects at Language in Lyrics has been the development of a series of successful ‘transcription frolics’. These are in-person or online events where we come together as a group to work on song transcriptions using a variety of software and shared tools.

The idea of shared work parties, or ‘frolics’, is a well-established part of Gaelic culture. We wanted to honour this centuries-old tradition whilst drawing on the new technology available to us today. This has helped us to collectively capture the lyrics of songs which have often lain dormant since their recording some fifty years ago.

Transcription frolic at Colaisde na Gàidhlig March 2020

We have also held ‘metadata frolics’ where we have worked a-synchronistically in a shared Google Sheet to input missing metadata for collections such as the Cape Breton Gaelic Folklore Collection housed at St Francis Xavier University. This has involved transcribing the first lines of songs and listening to them closely to determine their category and subject matter. 

We have worked closely with renowned folklorist Dr. John Shaw (the collector of the Cape Breton Folklore Collection, amongst other major contributions) on these transcription projects, and his support and assistance has been invaluable.

Join our next frolic by following updates on our Facebook page, or by sending your details to languageinlyrics @ gmail .com

View the songs we have transcribed: