Overview of Music Statistics: Other Sources

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This is the third of four statistical overview articles: Introduction, ABS, Other Sources, and Conclusions. The project to construct an initial framework extended from September 2011 to May 2012, with non-ABS sources being classified and progressively researched from November 2011.


To gain a preliminary view inside a very extensive subject, the existing articles in the knowledge base were first divided roughly into 13 categories, ranging from attempts to obtain a general statistical estimate of the music sector based on years of data collection and analysis, to a range of articles where statistics are of marginal relevance or unlikely to exist. The description of each group is based on an assessed state of available statistics, but readers are urged to put forth their suggestions as soon as possible. If you are a person with special knowledge of a particular field, you are naturally well qualified to assess its statistical potential and needs, and your feedback is requested.

Exploring sources other than official statistics, it is inevitable that their reliability will vary more than the ABS allows within its quality pledge. But we need to marshal all sources which may reveal insights when put in further context. There is a continuum from pure estimation to high statistical quality, and the latter is by no means confined to the ABS sources. At the other extreme, estimation remains part of the game as illustrated by the valuation studies of the music sector which are reviewed in the first of the 13 categories below.

The general intention in this article and the articles reached through the links below is to show both what is available from the ABS (based on Overview of Music Statistics: ABS), and actually and potentially from other sources, to define the gaps in Australian statistics. It means identifying non-ABS sources that are actually or potentially available. The final article, Overview of Music Statistics: Conclusions, comments on remaining gaps in statistical knowledge, and outlines a research program.

The 13 categories and their subgroups form a fairly crude framework and do not indicate priorities. The statistical development process must be allowed to some extent to be opportunistic, and must proceed on more than one front, with advice from MCA councillors, academics and members of the music sector. Please follow the links for detail on each category:

The statistical areas vary from group to group. Employment, value of output, value-added, consumption, trade, and income by main sources including public and private funding are some of the dimensions. Trends are important but depend on repeating the statistical collection on a regular basis, whether monthly, quarterly, annually, or less frequently.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Entered 12 February 2012. Logo design: HHG (treble clef image courtesy of http://www.musicgraphicsgalore.net/). Most recent amendments 15 May 2012.


  1. The remaining (13th) group deals with matters that don't lend themselves to statistical treatment. Subjects range from the role of cultural capital and technology, equity and access, freedom of expression and the whole of government approach, to how best to invest in our creative musicians. Special subjects include auditory space, implications of digitisation, notated art music, and the Ballet Russes. All are important components of the knowledge base, and more special subjects are advocated for their general rather than statistical content.
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