Semantic Web, Music Ontology

Music Ontology’s new domain name and Wiki

I just finished to setup a web server to host the new Music Ontology’s domain name The specification document is now available at that new URL. This step has been done to start branding the ontology to help for its adoption.

New development Wiki

I also installed Mediawiki to help the development of the ontology. This new Wiki is available at

I think this is an essential element in the ontology’s development infrastructure. This Wiki will be used to make the link between the specification document and the mailing list.

The main incentive to create this Wiki is to put some sections of the specification document into the Wiki. That way, people will be able to easily enhance these sections with new examples, etc.; and it will make the specification document much smaller and simpler.

Wiki main sections

If you take a look at the left side bar, you will notice links to main Wiki sections. I would suggest you to take a look at these sections to see what they are used for. I started to put information in these pages and I will continue in the next days; but I would appreciate if you could put some lines if you have some ideas, examples, use cases, etc in mind.

How members should use this Wiki

First of all, I expect that all mailing list members create a new user in this Wiki. So, people interested in the Music Ontology Development should follow these steps:

  1. They should register a new user
  2. They should put putt their name in the “Community Member list”
  3. They should put some information about them in their user page
  4. They should contribute to this Wiki by adding content, examples, use cases, tools, etc.

Music Ontology Logo

Just for your information, a logo for the Music Ontology should be available soon too.


I think that the Wiki was a requested feature since the beginning of the development of the Music Ontology. If people start to write some things in it, it will not only become the best way to develop the ontology and track its evolution; it will also become the best way to publicize it and to help for its adoption by the Web community.

Semantic Web, Zitgist, Music Ontology, Web

Music Ontology Revision 1.11: the music creation workflow

A new revision of the Music Ontology has been released today. The main changes have been made to clarify the description of the music creation workflow. We also added the possibility to describe musical shows and festivals.

All in all, the revision 1.11 of the Music Ontology is certainly the most stable and crystallized incarnation of the ontology.

The change log is available here

New projects using the Music Ontology

New projects started to use the Music Ontology to describe musical things. There are a couple of them:

Oscar’s Pendora and recommendation system:

Oscar also describe how to:

Yves’s mapping of Magnatune using the Music Ontology.

Also, the Musicbrainz RDF dump using the Music Ontology should be released soon too. I know that I said that it should have been available by this week, however some issues with the rdf views forced me to wait until releasing the dump. I hope having the possibility to make it available by next Monday, as long as with the Virtuoso RDF View files.

Description of the music creation workflow

We also worked hard to clarify the music creation workflow used by the Music Ontology. It is the backbone of the ontology: it explains how people should use the ontology to describes musical things. A complete description of the workflow is available here.



Describing shows and festivals

As discussed on the mailing list, we introduced two new concepts in the Music Ontology: Shows and Festivals. It is now possible to describe where and when a show or a festival will happens, as long as who will give a performance at that event.

Using these new concepts, one could easily describe:

The International Jazz Festivial of Montreal will happens between June 28 and July 8 in Montreal. There will be sub-events at the Spectrum. In fact, there will be a show at the Spectrum the 28 June at 10pm. The performer of that show will be the Dave Holland Quintet.

Then the place of International Jazz Festival of Montreal and the Spectrum will be linked with their Geonames. The Dave Holland Quintet will be linked with their Musicbrainz artist description. All that is possible thanks to the RDF data dumps of each of these services and the Music Ontology.


The Music Ontology evolved greatly in the past few months. Now we have something solid agreed by many people. Many level of descriptiveness are possible and all of them are compatible together. A garage band can now easily describes itself and their records using the Music Ontology. But also, a music expert can describe everything about Beethoven’s Work and all its incarnations played by other musicians over the centuries.


Semantic Web, Music Ontology, Web

Music Ontology revision 1.10: introduction of musical performances as events in time

I am pleased to publish the revision 1.10 of the Music Ontology. As you can see in the change log:

View the change log

many things changed in that revision of the ontology. In fact, all the ambiguities people noticed with the latest revisions should now be fixed. Yves Raimond worked hard to implement the Time Ontology along with its Event and Timeline Ontologies into the Music Ontology. The result is a major step ahead for the Music Ontology. Now different levels of expressiveness are available trough the ontology.

In fact, one can describe simple things like MusicBrainZ data and relations, or they can describe the recording of a gig on a cell phone, published on the web, by two different people. Take a look at the updated examples to see what each of these three levels of expressiveness can describe.

As you can see, all the examples are now expressed in N3 and XML. These examples are classified in three different levels of descriptiveness. Most people will describe musical things using the first level of expressiveness, however closed and specialized systems will be able to express everything they want related to music using the Musical Ontology (check examples level 2 and 3 for good examples of this new expressiveness power)

One of the last things we have to fix is how genres should be handled. Right now we are typing individuals with its genre. However considering that genres evolve and change really quickly and that they are strongly influenced by cultures, a suggestion has been made to create individuals out of the class Genre and then describing them. Also, we could create s mo:subGenre property (domain: mo:Genre; range: mo:Genre) that would relate a genre to its sub-genre(s).

This idea is really great and would probably be the best way to describe genres considering their “volatile” meaning over time. However the question is: how to link a mo:MusicalWork, mo:MusicalExpression, mo:MusicalManifestation and mo:Sound to its genre? If we create a mo:genre (domain mo:MusicalWork… etc; range rdf:resource), then people could use that property to link a MusicalWork, etc. to anything (anything that is a resource). Personally I think that it is not necessarily a good thing to introduce such a non-restricted property into the ontology.

Note that it is not the same thing as the property event:hasFactor since anything can be a factor of a musical event.

Now that the ontology is becoming pretty stable, the next step is starting to use it to describe things related to music. The first step will be to convert MusicBrainZ’s data into RDF using the Music Ontology. Soon enough I should make available a RDF dump of this data along with a Virtuoso PL that will enable people to re-create this RDF dump from a linked instance of a MusicBrainZ Postgre database into Virtuoso

Finally I would like to give a special thanks to Yves for its hard work and involvement for the publication of that new revision of the Music Ontology.

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Semantic Web, Music Ontology, Web

Revision 1.03 of the Music Ontology

I just published the revision 1.03 of the Music Ontology. You can notify the addition of mo:Movement, mo:has_movement, mo:movementNum and mo:tempo. Half of the modifications has been made to enhance the descriptiveness of classical music. The other half of the modifications has been made to make the distinction between production (MusicalExpression) and publication (MusicalManifestation) clearer.

All these modifications have been made possible by Ivan Herman and Yves Raimond and I would specially like to thanks them for their insightful comments and suggestions they made via the mailing list.

There is the changes log for the revision 1.03

  • Changed the range of mo:key from a rdfs:Literal to a
  • Added property mo:opus
  • Added mo:MusicalWork in the domain of: mo:bpm, mo:duration, mo:key, mo: pitch
  • Added class mo:Movement
  • Added property mo:has_movement
  • Added property mo:movementNum
  • Added property mo:tempo
  • Added mo:Instrument in the range of mo:title
  • Remove mo:MusicalWork and mo:MusicalManifestation and added mo:MusicalManifestation to the property’s domain mo: publisher, mo: producer, mo:engineer, mo:conductor, mo:arranger, mo:sampler, mo:compiler
  • Remove mo:MusicalWork and mo:MusicalManifestation and added mo:MusicalManifestation to the property’s range mo: published, mo: produced, mo:engineering, mo:conducted, mo:arranged, mo:sampled, mo:compiled


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Semantic Web, Music Ontology, Web

Revision 1.02 of the Music Ontology: a first crystallization of the ontology


Since about a month people are looking at the Music Ontology; they talk about it; they revise it; and they give suggestions. The revision 1.02 of the ontology as been possible by all their comments and suggestions. It should be a good compromise for all users’ visions.

As I previously explained in one of my blog post, the FRBR Final Report has been use as the ground for the ontology. It describes musical entities and their relationship.


Finally the revision 1.02 is the first “crystallization” of the Music Ontology. Now people can certainly start to use it into their FOAF profile. Artists can start to describe themselves, their musical group, their musical creations, etc. Music stores could start to export the content of their inventory using the ontology. Internet radio could certainly start to gives information about the tracks they stream.

If you are interested in participating in the elaboration of that ontology, I would encourage you to subscribe to its mailing list. I would like to thank everybody subscribed to this mailing list since this new revision wouldn’t has been possible without their insightful comments and suggestions.


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