Situational relevance of music information modes: An empirical investigation among Doctor of Music students

Antti Mikael Rousi*, Reijo Savolainen, Maaria Harviainen, Pertti Vakkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance of music information from a performing musician’s point of view by delving into its diverse layers within the context of Doctor of Music students’ information seeking. Design/methodology/approach: Music-related information is approached through six modes that categorize music information sources based on their levels of abstraction. Situational relevance of the modes of music information is examined in relation to the situational requirements of accomplishing a dissertation on music task consisting of both a series of concerts and a written thesis. The empirical material was collected by interviewing Finnish doctoral students in the field of music performance. Findings: A set of situational relevance types related to each mode of music information were identified. As a whole, the differences between the perceived importance of the modes varied a little. Research limitations/implications: The goal of the present paper is not to create a generalizable list of situational relevance types suggested by modes of music information, but to show that the modes may suggest diverse situational relevance types of their own when evaluated by performing musicians. Originality/value: The present paper provides a rare account on performing musicians’ vocational and school-related information seeking. For studies of music information retrieval, the present paper offers new contextual facets explaining why diverse music information could be relevant to musicians. For studies of music-related information seeking, the present study offers new insights on why performing musicians have information needs regarding certain types of music information sources.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Information seeking
  • Music
  • Music information
  • Musical semiotics
  • Performing musicians
  • Relevance


Dive into the research topics of 'Situational relevance of music information modes: An empirical investigation among Doctor of Music students'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this