RiC / MCN – Why Music-China.org is the right choice for culture documentation (heritage preservation)

Screenshot_HuaerDuring our implementations of the semantic mediawiki, our team came into a strong discussion on what the benefit of RockinChina.com and Music-China.org actually is. We were told that especially for traditional Chinese music, there is already a great website called “Wikipedia” that not only has more users, but is far more known. Well, let me tell you the reason why Music-China.org is the right choice for cultural documentation of Chinese music! The reason why we can do it better in terms of heritage preservation!

Let’s have a look at a Chinese music genre called Hua’er (of which above screenshot is taken). At wikipedia one will not find too much information about Hua’er, except one sentence:

Hua’er, a form popular in the northwestern China provinces such as GansuNingxia and Qinghai, named to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2009

At Music-China.org however you will find:

  • An official UNESCO youtube video showcasting the music style
  • A semantical relationship between Hua’er and other music styles (FolkMountain Songs)
  • Open, exportable RDF about the genre including a Dublin Core abstract
  • A brief explanation as well as genre scene information as published by the Ministry of Culture of China (as public domain)
  • An overview of recent developments for preservation and safeguardsing as described in the UNESCO nomination letter in 2009.
  • The opportunity to mark songs and artists with this particular genre, i.e. making it semantic and linked! (and thereby exportable via RDF!)

In short, Music-China.org provides every user the opportunity to combine as many sources as possible and include the information on the wiki. Wikipedia in theory has the same functionality, however a different mission statement! Wikipedia is an encyclopedia which wants to describe any given topic in a neutral point of view on a precise yet also brief way. Gig listings, such as on artists pages (see Subs), re-iterations of lengthy sections of legal documents (see Hua’er) or individual concert reviews (see Suffocated) as references would never have a chance of passing the notability criteria of Wikipedia. And that is the strength of Music-China.org! Everyone can enter as much data about a topic as he or she wants to without the fear of strong notability requirements (see our own).

Surplus – and that is something that Wikipedia has NOT yet implemented on their own system – every data entered at RiC / MCN can be exported or called upon via RDF! We are semantic and very much alive!

Another example to show why Rock in China and Music-China.org are the better choice!

Screenshot_CuiJian1Our very own Cui Jian page compared to the Wikipedia one:

  • Wikipedia: 2112 words
  • RiC / MCN: 9039 words

Surplus, Wikipedia is listing Cui Jian at RiC as External Link and thereby as reference for everyone who wants to know more than the brief encyclopedic entry that WP provides.

Additionally RiC / MCN features

  • numerous music videos of Cui Jian that are collected via the Freebase / Google / Youtube API connection, RiC
  • an up-to-date system crawl for articles and books about Cui Jian in the “Further information” section
  • semantic annotations for the place of origin, Cui Jian’s main genre, his records and his musicbrainz UID

Need more examples? Check out this table:

Band Word count at RiC/MCN Word count at WP
Carsick Cars  3628 424
Subs  5112 0
Tang Dynasty  3721 604

One response to “RiC / MCN – Why Music-China.org is the right choice for culture documentation (heritage preservation)

  1. That’s amazing, but I was thinking you will want to know I had gotten a 404 malfunction on your site when I went to post this comment?

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