Archive for the 'Music Ontology' Category

The Music Ontology revision 1.12

The Music Ontology is much easier to read with the new documentation and the normalized terms. In fact, Yves Raimond worked hard on this new release with some help from Chris, me and other people on the mailing list.

The list of major changes is available on Yves’s blog post about the release. Also, the complete list of changes is available in the change log.

Some things have yet to be finished related to this new revision. We have to update the examples on the wiki. And I have to modify the Musicbrainz RDF view that the generated RDF documents reflect these changes.

Finally this new revision is a major upgrade related to the user-friendliness of the ontology. Terms, descriptions and documentation of the ontology should be much clearer now.

The Music Data Space

Kingsley is talking about Data Spaces since a long time. But what is a Data Space? Nothing is better than an example to understand something, so I will try to explain you with a single data space that has been created yesterday, the Music Data Space:


This is the Music Data Space. This Data Space contains information about musical things. These things are described mainly by using the Music Ontology, but also by using other ontologies like FOAF. Finally, things (musical things) belonging to this space are accessible, on the Web, via dereferencable URIs.

So, the Music Data Space is a place where all musical things are defined on the Semantic Web, and accessible via the Web.

That is it, and it is what we created last Monday.

Now, some of you could wonder: why on earth belongs to the Music Data Space? also belongs to the Music Data Space too! live in the Music Data space too via their API. In fact, a simple experience with the OpenLink RDF Browser clearly demonstrates that’s data belongs to the Music Data Space too.

Open the RDF Browser by following that link

Now you will visualize RDF information about an album called “Chore of Enchantment”. Take a look at this line:


Click on the link to Amazon. A window should popup. Select the Get Data Set (dereference) option.

At this point, some magic will happens. In fact, the new information that is displayed in the RDF Browser is coming directly from’s web server.

This is why I assume that belong to the Music Data Space too.

In fact, the Virtuoso Sponger will connect to via their API to get some information about that album. It will convert the data into RDF and will display it to the user via the RDF browser’s interface.

One step further: the JPG file also belongs to the Music Data Space!

Yes! Information about the JPG file, hosted on’s web servers, also belong to the Music Data Space and there is the proof:

Open that same RDF Browser page by following that link

Click on the Image (JPG) representing the cover of this album. A window should popup. Select the Get Data Set (dereference) option.

Check the triples that have been created from this image. The Virtuoso Sponger downloaded the JPG file, it analyzed its header, RDFized everything and sent the information back to the RDF Browser so that the user can see the information available for that image.

Where is the end? I have no idea… probably at the same place where the imagination ends too.

Unifying everything

This is that simple. All data sources (relational databases, remote data accessible via APIs, native rdf data, etc.) are unified together via the Music Data Space. And this Music Data Space is accessible, via URI dereferencing, at

Other Data Spaces available


The Music Data Space is the starting point and many other type of data spaces should emerge soon.

Browsing Musicbrainz’s dataset via URI dereferencing

Musicbrainz’s dataset can finally be browsed, node-by-node, using URI dereferencing.

What this mean?

Since the Musicbrainz relational database has been converted into RDF using the Music Ontology, all relations existing between Musicbrainz entities (an entity can be a Music Artist, a Band, an Album, a Track, etc.) are creating a musical relations graph. Each node of the graph is a resource and each arc is a property between two resources. Welcome in the World of RDF.


This means that from a resource “Madonna” we can browse the musical relations graph to find other entities such as Records, People, Bands, Etc.

Kingsley, inspired by Diana Ross, said: “URI Everything, and Everything is Cool!

This is cool! Now Diana Ross has her own URI on the semantic web:

Paul McCarney:

The Beatles:


Have their own too!

URIs for Musical Things

These URIs are not only used to refer to Musicbrainz entities. In fact, these URIs are used to refer to any Musical Entities that you can describe using the Music Ontology. In a near future, the Musicbrainz data will be integrated along with data from Jamendo and Magnatune. In the future, we will be able to integrate any sort of musical data at the same place (radio stations data, user foaf profiles relations to musical things, etc.). So from a single source ( all these different sources of musical data will be queriable at once.


URI schemes

The URI schemes are defined in the Musicbrainz Virtuoso RDF View:


All these URI schemes terms refer to their Music Ontology classes’ descriptions.


I am getting closer and closer to the first goal I set to myself when I first started to write the Music Ontology. This first goal was to make the Musicbrainz relational database available in RDF on the Web. Months later and with the help of the Music Ontology Community (specially Yves Raimond that worked tirelessly on the project) and the OpenLink Software Inc. Team, we finally make this data available through URI dereferencing.

From there, we will build-up new music services, integrate more musical datasets into the Music Data Space, etc. It is just the beginning of something much bigger.

This blog is a regularly updated collection of my thoughts, tips, tricks and ideas about my semantic Web researches and related software development.

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