Document Type


Publication Title

Nineteenth-Century Music Review

Publication Date



Lieder, Alma Mahler, data scraping, YouTube, musicology, performance, reception, women composers


A growing body of literature has shifted aesthetic attention from composition to performance, or the performing activity, and asserts that the act of performance creates meaning. Scholars have emphasized differences between the passive consumption and active making of – or even listening to – music. As I sought to understand the impact of performance on Alma Mahler's legacy, I identified the need to gather as much data as possible on who, what, where, when, why, and how her songs were performed. This need led me to evaluate the metadata associated with recordings of Alma Mahler's songs in the WorldCat union catalogue and the video sharing platform YouTube. Recent studies have shown the utility of leveraging big data for musicology, although few scholars have done so to investigate reception history. This essay outlines one approach to data scraping YouTube with emphasis on the value to those researching recent Lieder reception, and in doing so highlights some of the promise and limitations associated with web scraping.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Cambridge University Press.


Please consult the published version of record. Rachel E. Scott, “Data Scraping YouTube for the Study of Lieder Reception,” Nineteenth-Century Music Review,

Included in

Musicology Commons



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