musicDNA is the name for both an ontology and a number of user interface concepts which together allow the mapping of the musical universe – the essential structure of musical events and resources in terms of human activity – in order to be able to visualize and navigate through this powerfully rich semantic space thus turning music, musicians, and music-making into Web 3.0-ready social objects.
musicDNA was built by musicDNA Ltd and is now owned and developed by klangr Limited. The musicDNA project and ontology
have a long history which has been partially documented online
and aired repeatedly in the international research community, most prominently during the academic
year 2008-2009. The first public phase of the musicDNA project was announced by
seed partner Pensive SA at the beginning of May 2009. The first version of the spin-off app musicGPS for the
iPhone family was released in late 2009. musicGPS was
rated No.2 in The Guardian's "top five of music 2.0" (24/06/2010), and
as "Hot Stuff" in Stuff magazine (May 2010). The beta editor interface for the musicDNA index is available to signed-up users.
musicDNA is implemented using the Topic Maps data model; a simple graphical notation for Topic Maps has been developed as part of the project: Topic Maps Martian Notation or TMMN. The current version of the musicDNA index is built on the TMCore engine from NetworkedPlanet.
Please note that our use of the trademark musicDNA is not to be confused with "MusicDNA" or the patent rights asserted under that name by Bach Technologies.
klangr Limited is a UK-registered company (No. 08820788) and has a research and development team which has collaborated at various times at the BBC, at Unknown Public, and at the Royal Academy of Music in London – on a prototype using their original ontological research which was called the RAMline.
The RAMline was developed by Antony Pitts, John Drinkwater, and Hannah French (née Riddell)
with support from HEFCE and a Teaching and Research Award from the University of
London's Centre for Distance Education, and has now been subsumed into the musicDNA
project (and replaced by new prototype products and services). The team members have presented their research at a number of international conferences - usually under the title Rewriting Musical History - in Oslo (Second International Topic Maps Users Conference 2008 plenary session), Naples (International Association of Music Libraries 2008), Amsterdam (XML Holland 2008 keynote speech), as well as at the Centre for Digital Music, QMUL (2009) and as part of Research in Distance Education, UL (2009). The musicDNA project stems from a long-standing research interest in the nature of musical, historical, and aesthetic time; the musicDNA concept was originally devised by Antony Pitts and was inspired by two particular projects for BBC Radio 3: Settling the Score: Of Sound Mind (1998/9) and The Unfinished Symphony (1999/2000).