This note describes the last of 12 areas listed in Overview of Music Statistics: Other Sources, outlining the potential and actual contribution of sources other than the Australian Bureau of Statistics to knowledge of the music sector.

Possible Statistics

This group is truly miscellaneous. Actually or potentially, it covers art music composers, music criticism, libraries and museums, and what musicians do for a living. Possible data associated with “Web 2.0′ may also be relevant. The international context would be of interest to place Australia in perspective. Finally, a special statistic has been derived from the collection of SWOT articles in the knowledge base on how the music community perceives itself. Each is noted below.

Art Music Composers

The Australian Music Centre is a unique establishment in Australian musical life. It is described briefly in AMC, the Art Music Composers Organisation. It is also permanently represented in the MCA as a national organisation. The AMC article suggests that a statistical base may exist which — if available — would throw important light on trends in the number of Australian art composers and other indicators like the trend in the number of information requests, and from whom. The article notes that performers, orchestras and ensembles are regular users of the Centre, along with private, secondary and tertiary teachers and students.

Music Criticism

In 2007, the music critic and then MCA councillor Graham Strahle conducted a survey based on column space in six Austalian newspapers (A Quantitative Survey of Music Criticism in Australia’s Major Newspapers). The survey methodology is laid out clearly and has been used in other research projects as well. An update of the project is invited to show how trends have changed over a five-year period.

Music Libraries

See Note on Music Libraries and Librarians for background. It concludes that it should be potentially possible to build statistics on the number of music libraries, employment of specialised music librarians, and total staff, classified into National Library of Australia, State libraries, Universities and music conservatoria, and Other.

Music Museums

See Note on Music Museums, which concludes that music museums in Australia appear to be an emerging subject, worth describing with as much quantitative information as possible. Contributions are most welcome.

The Diverse Work of Musicians

The survey presented by Dawn Bennett in What do Musicians do for a Living? was conducted in 2007 and would still present a valid picture of how musicians work in teaching, performing, conducting, business and other pursuits (she found that musicians were involved in an average of 2.2 different activities). Other important research (for the Australia Council) includes the series of studies between 1983 and 2009 under the David Throsby’s leadership (subject of a planned knowledge base article), and by Stuart Cunningham and Peter Higgs on artists’ “census versus other job” (2010), which was briefly described in the statistical article on the Music Sector.

Music and the World Wide Web

The 2007 paper by Julian Knowles, Implications of Web 2.0, reviews “Web 2.0 music trends and some implications for tertiary music communities.” It concludes: “The argument that this paper makes, that Web 2.0 developments constitute a major paradigm shift in the global music industry and by extension teaching and research domains, is thus being evidenced at a considerable and consistent rate, underlining the need to radically re-evaluate approaches to the training of musicians and the conduct of research in the music discipline.” The paper is an example of the rapid change associated with the ongoing digitisation of the music sector. Although Professor Knowles doesn’t quantify the trends in question, there may be potential for doing so in an update. Other statistical opportunities would almost certainly fit under this heading. Contributions to the knowledge base would be most welcome on any topic linking music and digitisation.

International Perspectives

International statistics have been largely ignored to date in the knowledge base, with the exception of International Classical Music Audience Attendance Trends 1990-2005, written in 2008. There is a rich potential for expanding the international coverage, through MCA’s connection with the UNESCO-based International Music Council with an emphasis on cultural diversity. For example, Richard Letts headed a comparative diversity study in 2006 while he was IMC’s president. 1 There is a potentially rich lode to mine at UNESCO, including UNESCO World Report 2: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue, 2009, and the work of the UNESCO Statistical Institute to collect and compare cultural statistics globally.

This dimension should be built up to put Australia in a better international perspective. Other international perspectives of course exist as well as the cultural diversity, including statistical analysis of trade flows attributable to trade restrictions, and trends in the Internet such as the implications of “Web 2.0” mentioned above. Contributions are invited.

Music Community Perceptions

How the Music Community Perceives Itself is a statistical review of the “SWOT” analyses collected in 2008. The review was written by Robyn Holmes, Curator of Music at the National Library of Australia, who took the initiative to call for the “SWOTs”. We hope that these important contributions to the knowledge base can be updated and expanded to other subjects, to provide a basis for viewing how the perceptions of the music community changes over time.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Entered on knowledge base 29 October 2011 as part of a general overview of statistical sources other than the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Made into independent article 12 February 2012.


  1. The Protection and Promotion of Cultural Diversity↩︎

Hans founded his own consulting firm, Economic Strategies Pty Ltd, in 1984, following 25 years with larger organisations. He specialised from the outset in applied cultural economics — one of his first major projects was The Australian Music Industry for the Music Board of the Australia Council (published in 1987), which also marks his first connection with Richard Letts who was the Director of the Music Board in the mid-1980s. Hans first assisted the Music Council of Australia in 2000 and between 2006 and 2008 proposed and developed the Knowledge Base, returning in an active capacity as its editor in 2011. In November 2013 the Knowledge Base was transferred to The Music Trust, with MCA's full cooperation.

Between 2000 and 2010 Hans also authored or co-authored several major domestic and international climate change projects, using scenario planning techniques to develop alternative long-term futures. He has for several years been exploring the similarities between the economics of cultural and ecological change, and their continued lack of political clout which is to a large extent due to conventional GDP data being unable to measure the true value of our cultural and environmental capital. This was announced as a major scenario-planning project for The Music Trust in March 2014 (articles of particular relevance to the project are marked *, below).

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