To read this content please select one of the options below:

Towards a “musicianship model” for music knowledge organization

Margaret Lam (Faculty of Information, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada)

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives

ISSN: 1065-075X

Article publication date: 22 August 2011




How does one classify instructional videos uploaded by musicians of different caliber and mastery on video‐sharing sites? What kinds of communities are forming around these content sources? How does one address the different perception and understanding of what music means to a diverse audience? How does one identify and address the needs of new kinds of users, who learn how to play music by using primarily online resources? While this paper does not seek to directly address all these questions, it aims to raise them with the aim of contextualizing the discussion as a necessary foundation to effectively address the more practical questions above.


This paper presents a knowledge organization model of music knowledge based on the concept of musicianship as used in music education. A balanced and holistic approach is sought, especially in light of the interdisciplinary nature of the challenge being addressed. Drawing on Hjørland's work on domain analysis, and Hennion's concept of the user of music, this paper discusses music as a domain, music as information, and music as knowledge.


In particular, the concept of listening and genre are considered important ways through which one mediates one's understanding of music as knowledge. There are four “layers” in the model: Vocabulary of Music; Structures and Patterns of Music; Appreciation of Music; and Cultural‐Historical Contexts.


The model addresses knowledge organization challenges specific to the domain of music.



Lam, M. (2011), "Towards a “musicianship model” for music knowledge organization", OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 190-209.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Related articles