The Jazz Ontology: A semantic model and large-scale RDF repositories for jazz

Polina Proutskova, Daniel Wolff, György Fazekas, Klaus Frieler, Frank Höger, Olga Velichkina, Gabriel Solis, Tillman Weyde, Martin Pfleiderer, Hèlène Camille Crayencour, Geoffroy Peeters, Simon Dixon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Jazz is a musical tradition that is just over 100 years old; unlike in other Western musical traditions, improvisation plays a central role in jazz. Modelling the domain of jazz poses some ontological challenges due to specificities in musical content and performance practice, such as band lineup fluidity and importance of short melodic patterns for improvisation. This paper presents the Jazz Ontology – a semantic model that addresses these challenges. Additionally, the model also describes workflows for annotating recordings with melody transcriptions and for pattern search. The Jazz Ontology incorporates existing standards and ontologies such as FRBR and the Music Ontology. The ontology has been assessed by examining how well it supports describing and merging existing datasets and whether it facilitates novel discoveries in a music browsing application. The utility of the ontology is also demonstrated in a novel framework for managing jazz related music information. This involves the population of the Jazz Ontology with the metadata from large scale audio and bibliographic corpora (the Jazz Encyclopedia and the Jazz Discography). The resulting RDF datasets were merged and linked to existing Linked Open Data resources. These datasets are publicly available and are driving an online application that is being used by jazz researchers and music lovers for the systematic study of jazz.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100735
JournalJournal of Web Semantics
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • Metadata
  • Music
  • Semantic modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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