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Three views of the "musical work": Bibliographical control in the music domain

Pietras, M. & Robinson, L. (2012). Three views of the "musical work": Bibliographical control in the music domain. Library Review, 61(8), pp. 551-560. doi: 10.1108/00242531211292060


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the concept of the “musical work”, and its consequences for library/information provision.

Design/methodology/approach – Analysis of journal and monograph literature is supported by interviews with music editors, examination of documents, and self-reflection on music cataloguing practice.

Findings – The nature of a musical work is shown to be complex, and influenced by many contextual factors. Phenomenological and ontological models can prove useful in understanding practical issues of information provision. The work of music editors has a strong relation to that of cataloguers and curators. Bibliographic models such as FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) can gain from, and contribute to, music information, through the centrality of the concept of “work”.

Research limitations/implications – The literature review is selective rather than comprehensive.

Practical implications – The study provides direct guidance for library/information practitioners in the music domain, and an insight into issues of relevance to information provision in any specialized subject.

Originality/value – The paper is a contribution to the literature on the application of philosophical and conceptual analysis to documents and bibliographic entities in specialized subject areas, and to domain analysis.

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: Bibliographic control, Conceptual analysis, Domain analysis, Epistemology, Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records, Indexing, Information retrieval, Music, Music information, Philosophical analysis, Special libraries, Works
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > MT Musical instruction and study
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Departments: School of Communication & Creativity > Media, Culture & Creative Industries > Library & Information Science
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