Typology of music information for studies on information seeking

Antti Mikael Rousi*, Reijo Savolainen, Pertti Vakkari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – A need to renew music-related information notions arises from both information-seeking models and literature of musical semiotics. The purpose of this paper is to create a music information typology, which aims at facilitating the examination of music information types at varying levels of abstraction in the context of information seeking. Design/methodology/approach – Literature of musical semiotics and information seeking are juxtaposed to develop a novel approach to music-related information. The grounding concepts are Bruner’s enactive, iconic and symbolic modes of representation. The modes of representation offer a universal scheme of knowledge that is applied to the domain of music by defining their content through Tarasti’s Theory of Musical Semiotics. Findings – This conceptual paper results in a music information typology ranging from the enactive music information representations to the abstract ones as follows. Music making as the first mode of enactive representations; music listening as the second mode of enactive representations; iconic representations of music; technological models of music as the first mode of symbolic representations; and ideological models of music as the second mode of symbolic representations. Originality/value – The present paper develops a music information typology that encompasses broadly different music information facets by categorizing music information sources according to their level of abstraction. When applied into empirical research, the typology opens a new window into the perceived roles of music information types in the context of information seeking.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-276
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Documentation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Information representations
  • Information search process
  • Information seeking
  • Music
  • Music information
  • Musical semiotics


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