Organised Sound

Research Article

Ontologies, categories, folksonomies: an organised language of sound

Kenneth Fieldsa1

a1 CEMC – China Electronic Music Center, Central Conservatory of Music, Beijing 100031, China email:


The views of categorisation presented in this paper along with my own are for the purpose of providing background for current taxonomic projects related to electroacoustic music (e.g. EARS: ElectroAcoustic Resource Site). The views might be summarised as top-down (ontology) as described in Peterson, bottom-up (folksonomy) as described in Shirkey and Weinberger, and a view from the middle ground (TagOntology) as described in Gruber. Semantic Wikipedia enters this discourse in relation to what one might call folk-ontology. It is crucial to conduct experimentation with minimal specifications and practical methodologies in order to facilitate the interoperability of dynamic, emergent knowledge bases within the Semantic Web context.