Adopting situationally relevant modes of music information at different stages of information-seeking processes. A longitudinal investigation among music students

Pages1230-1257
Publication Date26 September 2019
DOIhttps://doi.org/10.1108/JD-12-2018-0210
Date26 September 2019
AuthorAntti Mikael Rousi,Reijo Savolainen,Pertti Vakkari
SubjectLibrary & information science,Records management & preservation,Document management,Classification & cataloguing,Information behaviour & retrieval,Collection building & management,Scholarly communications/publishing,Information & knowledge management,Information management & governance,Information management,Information & communications technology,Internet
Adopting situationally
relevant modes of music
information at different stages
of information-seeking processes
A longitudinal investigation among
music students
Antti Mikael Rousi, Reijo Savolainen and Pertti Vakkari
Faculty of Information Technology and Communication Sciences,
University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland
Abstract
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the picture of situational relevance by examining how
modes of music information are viewed as situationally relevant at different stages of information-seeking
processes among music students.
Design/methodology/approach Empirical data of the present longitudinal study were collected in two
phases by utilizing questionnaire and interview methods. Informants comprised of 14 university-level music
students representing the fields of music performance, music education and music theory and composition. Modes of
music information were approached through the information typology presented by Rousi, Savolainen and Vakkari.
Findings The findings indicate that not only the modes of music information were seen as situationally
relevant for different reasons by the three participating music student groups when at the beginning of their
tasks, but also that the perceived situational relevance of the information modes underwent changes as their
tasks progressed to focus formulation and post-focus stages.
Research limitations/implications Due to the small number of participants, further research is needed
to verify the results concerning the differences in information-seeking processes between diverse music
student groups.
Originality/value The paper showcases that approaching music information through frameworks
that classify information sources at diverse levels of abstraction enables an accurate description of
information-seeking processes and illuminates context-sensitive development of situational relevance
of music information of diverse modes.
Keywords Music, Relevance, Music information, Information seeking, Information search process,
Music students
Paper type Research paper
Introduction
Kuhlthaus (2004, p. 112) information search process (ISP) model suggests that information
types at varying levels of abstraction may have differentiated interpretations during
information-seeking process, and that these interpretations can undergo change as such
processes progress. Music is a domain where information resides not merely in written
language. In their works on musicology and musical semiotics, Bengtsson (1977) and
Tarasti (1994, p. 4) state that musical knowing transpires through sign systems such as
Journal of Documentation
Vol. 75 No. 6, 2019
pp. 1230-1257
Emerald Publishing Limited
0022-0418
DOI 10.1108/JD-12-2018-0210
Received 17 December 2018
Revised 5 April 2019
Accepted 8 April 2019
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
www.emeraldinsight.com/0022-0418.htm
© Antti Mikael Rousi, Reijo Savolainen and Pertti Vakkari. Published by Emerald Publishing Limited.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) licence. Anyone may
reproduce, distribute, translate and create derivative works of this article (for both commercial &
non-commercial purposes), subject to full attribution to the original publication and authors. The full
terms of this licence may be seen at http://creativecommons.org/licences/by/4.0/legalcode
The authors would like to thank the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that
greatly helped us to improve the manuscript.
1230
JD
75,6
music notations, aural experiences and gestural language of music making. This suggests
that the interpretation and relevance of music information of varying kinds may change
during an information-seeking process. When juxtaposing the dynamic nature of relevance
suggested in the ISP model with the above multifaceted notion of music information of
musicology and musical semiotics, an anomaly becomes apparent. Prior studies have left
open the following question: which modes of music information are viewed as situationally
relevant during the different stages of information-seeking processes?
In general, studieson situational relevance examine therelationships between information
and the user´s information problem situation (Schamber, 1994, p. 8; Saracevic, 2007, p. 1930).
The present paper approaches the relevance of music information in relation to situational
requirementsof accomplishing a study-relatedinformation-seekingtask on music. Prior to the
present paper,the issue of music information objects and relevancehave predominantly been
discussed within the field of music information retrieval (MIR) (e.g. Casey et al., 2008; Kim,
2015). Even thoughthere are situational factors, suchas users location (e.g. Cheng and Shen,
2014) and time of day (e.g. Su et al., 2010), included in MIRs approach to relevance, we
lack investigations examining how music students view the situational relevance of
music information of varying kinds during the different stages of performing their
information-seeking tasks. Neither studies describing and modeling information seeking and
needs of musicians(e.g. Brown, 2002; Kostagiolas et al., 2015; Lavranoset al., 2015, 2016) have
devoted due attention to the particular nature of the modes of music information and their
situational relevance. Even though there are a few studies of information seeking examining
the situational relevance of music information (see Rousi et al., 2018), none of these prior
studies focus on how the situational relevance of music information of diverse modes is
viewed during the different stages of information-seeking tasks.
To fill gaps in empirical research on context-sensitive information-seeking processes, the
present paper examines how music students representing different fields and levels of
university studies adopt situationally relevant modes of music information during the
different stages of performing their information-seeking tasks. The term music information
mode refers to a set of information sources that are seen to represent music information at a
certain level of abstraction. In other words, the concept of music information mode is used to
group information sources based on their method of representation, be it gestural language,
non-conceptual aural experiences of music or symbolic written representations, for example.
To conceptualize these modes, the present paper utilizes the typology of music information
proposed by Rousi et al. (2016). Six modes were identified: music making as the first mode of
enactive representations; music listening as the second mode of enactive representations;
iconic representations of music; technological models of music as the first mode of symbolic
representations; and ideological models of music as the second mode of symbolic
representations and other symbolic information.
The present paper utilizes a longitudinal research design where the situational relevance
of the modes of music information are qualitatively analyzed at two phases during the
information-seeking tasks performed by the music students. Furthermore, the progress of
the participantsinformation-seeking task processes was examined from the viewpoint of
thoughts, actions and emotions by using a modified process survey instrument of the ISP
model (see Kuhlthau, 2004, p. 60). The empirical material was collected in 20132015 by
using survey and interviews methods. The participants comprised of 14 music students
representing music performance, music education and music theory and composition. All
the participants were Finnish music students of Sibelius Academy, Helsinki University of
the Arts.
The rest of the paper is structured as follows. First, to provide a background, the
literature review introduces the typology of the modes of music information used in the
present study; this section also describes diverse approaches to situational relevance and
1231
Music
information

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT