One of the most important missions of this project is to make a major contribution to the statistics that is available on musical activities in Australia. The music sector is defined in the knowledge base to include not just music creation and live and recorded performance, but also all the support that makes this possible, and the innovative activities that keep the sector alive and vibrant.

This article builds on an extensive structural study of Australian music-related statistical sources and their deficiencies which we undertook in stages between September 2011 and February 2012. The results fit into the “wiki” structure of categories and sub-categories (see Finding your way around at the end of the front page). The statistical overview resulting from the study distinguishes between the output of the Australian Bureau of Statistics as the official data provider, and what is actually or potentially available from other sources.

Up to five category levels are used to describe the position of a particular activity within the music sector structure:

  • Level 1 is the entire knowledge base (top of diagram).
  • The basic structure of the music sector (Level 2) includes Creation, Infrastructure support, and Innovative trends and activities, shown in the diagram). Two remaining Level 2 categories, About and Context, were omitted from the graph.
  • Currently, “Creation” has three Level 3 subcategories, “Infrastructure support” four, and “Innovative trends and activities” three. Each Level 3 subcategory may have their own sub-categories at Levels 4 and 5.

The front page of the knowledge base (Finding your way around) shows that each article besides the structural categories also belongs to one or more of five information categories: “Mapping”, “Issues”, “SWOT Analyses”, “Notes”, and Statistics. The graph below shows the structure of the knowledge base dealing with statistics (omitting the four other information categories).

The Level 2 category of Statistics has two Level 3 subcategories: Statistical Overview and Statistical Analysis. We deal with the statistical overview first.

Statistical Overview

The overview category itself (Level 3) divides into two different Level 4 source categories: ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) and Other Sources. As discussed in Overview of Music Statistics: Conclusions, and in the individual articles, the quality of statistical sources for the music sector varies widely — and many sources remain “potential” rather than “actual”.

Each structural level may also contain its own articles (pink boxes in the graph). This descriptive structure article, for instance, belongs to Level 2, while the articles introducing the overview and drawing conclusions from it belong to Level 3. The Level 4 articles are the overviews and the specific statistical areas covered under “ABS” and “Other Sources” respectively:

Other Sources

Statistical Analysis

This part needs restructuring. Feedback to the chart? HHG 25.5.12
This path is shown using green arrows on the above flow chart. At Level 3, Statistical Analysis is parallel to the Statistical Overview category. Level 4 classifies the analyses into a number of further subcategories, which at the time of writing were Australian Indigenous Music, Government Support, Music Criticism, Music Education and Training, Music Sector, and Venues and Audiences — all specified in the current category structure. More subcategories will be added as new analytic articles are written.


Hans Hoegh-Guldberg. Entered 5 February 2012. Flow chart simplified 6 February 2012. Latest revisions 10 February 2012.

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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