LITMUS project information

LITMUS (Linked Irish Traditional Music) seeks to improve searching and access to web-based Irish traditional music, song and dance resources. The goal of the LITMUS project was to develop linked data tools to better express what occurs within oral transmission. While tailored to Irish traditional music, it is hoped that this project will provide a working model for other European and non-European traditional musics.

To better represent complex musical, social, cultural, geographic, and personal relationships that occur within traditional Irish music and dance relationships through linked data, Dr Lynnsey Weissenberger (LITMUS project lead) developed:

Official Abstract:

The LITMUS (Linked Irish Traditional Music) project will focus on the development of the first linked open data (LOD) framework tailored to the needs of Irish traditional song, instrumental music, and dance (ITM), as well as European and non-European traditional musics primarily propagated through oral transmission. LOD connects data from within and beyond knowledge domains; LOD ontologies are specially designed to represent knowledge structures and relationships. The few existing LOD music ontologies do not adequately express ITM and other oral traditions, making LITMUS significant. Project activities include ontology development, LOD infrastructure creation, and development of a publicly-accessible LOD pilot.

LITMUS will impact the larger European cultural heritage community and beyond, providing a framework for other organisations to model and publish their own similar collections in LOD; reifying latent shared properties and traits anecdotally known to exist in the folk music of countries with strong socio-historical links.


All About the LITMUS Ontology gives a brief overview of the finished linked data tools

Explore LITMUS introduces the linked data pilot, which uses 20 years of Gradam Ceoil performance data and LITMUS tools


Weissenberger, L. K. (2018). Linked data in music and its potential for ITMA/traditional music web resourcesBrio*, 55(1), 52-57. [open access]

Weissenberger, L. K. (2017). Stories, songs, steps, and tunes: A linked data ontology for Irish traditional music and dance. Paper presented at the International Society for Knowledge Organization, UK-Ireland chapter. “Knowledge Organisation: What’s the Story?” (ISKO-UK), London, United Kingdom, 11-12 September, 2017. doi: [open access]

* Journal of the UK/Ireland chapter of the International Association of Music Libraries, Archives, and Documentation Centres (IAML)

Project Repository

All research outputs from LITMUS are available through a Zenodo repository.

The 2-year (July 2017 to June 2019) project was funded through a European Union Horizon2020, Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Actions Fellowship (Grant No. 750814), in the Society and Enterprise division.