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titleAbout the Performed Music Ontology

The Performed Music Ontology project aims to develop a BIBFRAME-based ontology for performed music in all formats, with a particular emphasis on clarifying and expanding on the modelling of works, events, and their contributors. The work is a collaborative effort of Stanford University, the Music Library Association (MLA), the Association for Recorded Sound Collections (ARSC), the Library of Congress, and the PCC, with participation of LD4P partner institutions.

Stanford Project Proposal

Timeline (initial)

  • Written evaluation of the BIBFRAME ontology in describing performed music, including a set of use cases to justify extending and/or expanding the ontology.
  • Linked data ontology with a BIBFRAME core with for describing performed music.
  • RDA profile to complement the ontology for shared use by the library community, including list of preferred vocabularies.
  • Representative selection of resource descriptions created using the Performed Music Ontology.
  • Best practices for augmenting and/or manipulating performed music MARC bibliographic records to improve conversion to the Performed Music Ontology.
  • Evaluation of the project findings with a set of recommendations for further research and development.
  • Presentation of project findings to appropriate library and linked data communities.

titleCurrent Activities

  • Finalizing modeling of performers, medium of performance, and events in relation to works; basic model for dealing with aggregate works.

Community Engagement

  • Analysis & critique of modeling papers by Music Library Association Linked Data Working Group
  • Working with Library of Congress to have LC host PMO

Tool Exploration / Requirements Definition


  • gathering of use cases from members of MLA and ARSC
  • exploration of event models by Linked Data Working Group of MLA (LuDWig)
  • medium of performance modeling shared with RSC Music Working Group
  • sharing of data models for events and medium of performance with Library of Congress
  • addition of medium of performance model to LC Editor templates


Nancy Lorimer (lead) (Stanford)
Kirk-Evan Billet (MLA; Peabody Institute-Johns Hopkins)
Chew Chiat Naun (PCC; Cornell)
Greta de Groat (Stanford)
Arcadia Falcone (Stanford)
Caitlin Hunter (ARSC; LC)
Kevin Kishimoto (Stanford)
Wendy Sistrunk (ARSC; U Missouri, Kansas City)
Jim Soe-Nyun (MLA; UC San Diego)
Hilary Thorsen (Stanford)
Valerie Weinberg (LC)


Link to working documents (for partners only)

titleCompleted Work



  • Performed Music & BIBFRAME: Enriching the Ontology. ALCTS series: From MARC to BIBFRAME–Enhanced.
    ALCTS webinar by Nancy Lorimer, March 28, 20172018.
  • Love from Afar: Modeling music audio & video recordings in BIBFRAME, the Performed Music Ontology, and Beyond.
    presentation by Nancy Lorimer, OLAC general meeting, ALA Annual, Chicago IL, June 2017
  • Modeling Metadata for Sound Archives: extending BIBFRAME 2.0 for archival sound resources
    presentation by Caitlin Hunter & Nancy Lorimer, ARSC, San Antonio, TX, May 2017
  • Linked Data for Production: Stanford Projects
    presentation by Nancy Lorimer, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, February 2017
  • Linked Data for Performed Music: a performed music ontology extension to BIBFRAME 2.0
    presentation by Kevin Kishimoto & Nancy Lorimer, Music Library Association Annual Meeting, Orlando, Fla., February 2017
  • Linked Data for Performed Music: an extension to BIBFRAME 2.0 for production & archival cataloging of sound recordings & music videos
    presentation by Nancy Lorimer, BIBFRAME Update Forum, ALA Midwinter, Atlanta, Ga., January 2017
  • BIBFRAME beyond books: explorations in extending BIBFRAME 2.0 to improve discovery of performed music
    presentation by Nancy Lorimer & Michelle Futornick, PCC Participants' Meeting, ALA Midwinter, Atlanta, Ga., January 2017
  • Linked Data for Performed Music: a Linked Data for Production project
    presentation by Nancy Lorimer, Heads of Cataloging Interest Group, ALA Annual, Orlando, 2016