A video of the live version of this presentation is available here.
I’ve called this talk “The Joys of Eurovision Scoring” partly because I’m a bit of a nerd and Eurovision is an excellent source of statistics, but also because it is a clever scoring system, where everyone can have their say but there is guaranteed suspense and excitement up until the end of the show. It also reflects the Eurovision countries and how they relate to each other.
I’d like to cover three topics – what we can learn from the scores of individual jury members; why the public televote has more influence than the jury scores; and finally looking at the question of voting clusters.
Many datasets of composers tell us relatively little about them, so we sometimes have to guess details from the information available – such as the composer’s name. Forenames, for example, are often a good indicator of gender, as described in this previous article. Titles – associated with the church, aristocracy or royalty – can also reveal gender, and tell us about occupation or social class. This article looks at what names can tell us about nationality – based on a recent attempt to identify Italian composers among the many obscure and unknown names listed in the British Library’s music catalogue.
The gentleman pictured to the right is Welsh composer Henry Brinley Richards.1 Although he is little-known today, his piano nocturne ‘Marie’ Opus.60 was the most published British musical work in Germany in the nineteenth century. German music lovers could purchase ‘Marie’ in its original form or in various arrangements in an impressive 34 separate publications from 27 different publishers between 1861 and 1877.2
That conclusion comes from an analysis of Hofmeister’s Monatsberichte – a monthly listing of music publications appearing in the German market, compiled by Leipzig music publisher Friedrich Hofmeister from 1829 onwards. The Monatsberichte up to the end of the nineteenth century are available as an online database, listing about a third of a million publications from over 36,000 composers. This article is about the British composers and their works that appear in Hofmeister’s listings. Continue reading →