Doctoral dissertation

Antti Rousi: Music information modes and their situational relevance among musicians and music students

Within the domain of music, knowledge resides not merely in written language, but also in diverse modes of information. Sources of music information may include the gestural language of music making, audible experiences of music, music notation and writings about music.

The literature of musicology and musical semiotics suggests that different modes of music information may have roles and interpretations of their own and that it should not be assumed that a direct translation between them exists.

As prior studies of musicians’ and music students’ information seeking often draw from humanist studies in general, they have not paid due attention to the modes of music information. Although music recordings and notation have been identified as information need types in prior studies of musicians and music students, the question of why these needs occur has not been examined so far. Thus, there is a need to elaborate on approaches to music information used in studies of musicrelated information seeking. Different music information modes should be defined as information types in their own right and subject to varying roles and interpretations in information seeking.

The dissertation research of M.A. Antti Rousi is pioneering in its examination of the situational relevance of music information modes representing music information at varying levels of abstraction.

The research began with the development of a typology specifying the modes of music information relevant to the empirical analysis of music-related information seeking. The typology’s accuracy and sufficiency were first examined empirically in a qualitative study focusing on how its information modes were reflected in a verbal description of the compositional process. The second empirical study examined how the situational relevance of the information modes was articulated by Doctor of Music students focusing on music performance.

Finally, the third empirical study examined how the information modes were viewed as situationally relevant at different stages of information-seeking processes among Doctor of Music students focusing on music performance and master’s students representing music education and music theory and analysis.

The findings of this dissertation research deepen our understanding of the role of varying music information types in information seeking for musical tasks. They suggest that approaching music information through its many layers provides more accurate descriptions of music-related information-seeking processes.

The doctoral dissertation of M.A. Antti Rousi in the field of information studies and interactive media titled Music information modes and their situational relevance among musicians and music students will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Studies at Tampere University on Friday 16 October 2020 starting at 15.00 in Linna building lecture hall K103, Kalevantie 5. The Opponent will be Assistant Professor Audrey Laplante from University of Montreal. The Custos will be Professor Emeritus Pertti Vakkari.

The event can be  followed via remote connection (Meeting ID: 652 9411 1325).

The dissertation is available online at