The modes of music information in a compositional process: a case study

Ulla Pohjannoro*, Antti Mikael Rousi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate an actual compositional process that entails a diversity of music information modes and describe the way these modes contribute to the creative aspirations of a composer. Design/methodology/approach: The music information typology proposed by Rousi, Savolainen and Vakkari is used as a point of departure for defining the different modes of music-related information. First, relevant music information modes are identified from the composer-informant’s verbal description of a compositional process. Then, their proportions and dynamics are examined. Findings: The findings suggest that the music information typology may be applied within the context of musical composition, that is, all of its five modes of music information could be identified from the composer’s verbal description of the compositional process. However, two additional significant information modes were identified: shaping music as the third mode of enactive representations and genuine iconic representations. Research limitations/implications: The purpose of this case study is not to claim that the results regarding the significance of individual music information modes apply to all compositional processes within diverse genres of music. Originality/value: This study introduces a new mode of music information indicative of the artistic capacity of expressiveness: shaping musical structures as the third mode of enactive representations was the means whereby the composer made musical structures work for himself and hence created performative power in his music.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)987-1007
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Case studies
  • Information representations
  • Music
  • Music information
  • Musical composition
  • Musical semiotics

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