Music Ontology to Media Value Chain Ontology and PROV-O Ontology Mapping

First Draft, December 2012

Latest version:
Last update:
Date: 2012/12/05
Revision: 1.0
Mapping editors:
Víctor Rodríguez Doncel - Ontology Engineering Group, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.
Daniel Garijo - Ontology Engineering Group, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain.


This document provides the mapping between the Music Ontology [MO], the Media Value Chain Ontology [MVCO] and the PROV-O [PROV-O]. The Music Ontology describes general musical-related concepts, the Media Value Chain Ontology describes the Intellectual Property along the multimedia life-cycles and the PROV-O Ontology is the W3C standard for representing provenance information in the web. Together, these ontologies provide an homogeneous access to the chain of intermediate objects and actions that happen until a musical work is ready to be consumed (also known as the Music Workflow).

Status of this Document

This document is the result of a work made by OEG-UPM researchers has no formal support from either MO, MVCO or PROV-O editors.
The work was presented as a poster at London, on Tue 18 December 2012, in the DMRN+7: Digital Music Research Network One-day Workshop 2012

1 Introduction

Multimedia Workflow is the process in which a multimedia asset evolves along the time. During a multimedia asset life cycle several significant events can be recognized, among others: conception, creation, instantiation, editing, publishing and distribution. A register of some of these actions is kept in the metadata records, which are heterogeneously present in almost every digital file or repository. These annotations are becoming more and more important, as they are the key for the resource localization, classification and automated use.

The annotations relative to the multimedia workflow define in essence a chain where the provenance of a particular item can be traced (e.g. determining which is the orginal work from which another work has been derived). This chain of provenance is of particular relevance for the regards of the Intellectual Property, and some of the elements in the media chain formally receive a legal treatment by jurisdictions all over the world.

Annotations are made in the metadata fields of the multimedia files in heterogeneous formats: ID3 in MP3 music files, Exif in JPEG image files or MPEG-7 in general multimedia files. However, for publishing content in the Web, the Semantic Web seems the soundest approach to grant interoperability, to define precisely the features of the described elements and to enable making advanced queries on the metadata. Morevoer, the Linked Data postulates encourage linking datasets and binding concepts along the different data islands.

This document studies the semantic representation of the provenance and intellectual property aspects of the multimedia workflow and maps in three relevant ontologies in the area, and proposes a mapping to grant a homogeneous and interoperable access. Note that this work maps MO to PROV-O and MVCO, but no direct explicit mapping is made between PROV-O and MVCO.

1.1 Namespaces

The main namespaces involved in the mapping:
@prefix foaf: <> .
@prefix event: <> .
@prefix mvco: <> .
@prefix mo: <> .
@prefix prov: <> .
@prefix frbr: <> .
@prefix cc: <> .

2 The Music Workflow in the Music Ontology

The Music Ontology (MO) defines a vocabulary for expressing a wide range of music-related information, like who authored a song or which is the melody line of a particular work. It was first published in 2006 and it has become a de facto standard, both as a generic model and as a way of publishing music-related data. It is interlinked with other vocabularies and it has a rich set of data avilable in the web. Many real world applications support it with different implementations or have been mapped to the MO (see or the BBC Music website)

The Music Ontology is divided in three levels of expressiveness - from the simplest one to the most complex one. Everything is clustered around the following categories:

Music Ontology Workflow. Figure taken from [MO]

Level 2, present in the MO since 2007, describes the Music Workflow and it is summarized in the figure above.

In fact, the music workflow entities in the MO are derived from the FRBR model (IFLA's Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) [FRBR]. Entities in FRBR are categorised in three groups, the first gathers all that is “described by a record”, the second “Who is responsible for the creation, pro-duction, etc. of the entity”, while the third the ideas of “Event, Object, Place, Concept”. The FRBR presents the following schema in the first group of entities:

Main Entities in the FRBR model

The Music Ontology makes a distinction between two workflows, one more simple and other more complex. Both can be easily mapped.

3 The the PROV Starting Point

The PROV Ontology (PROV-O) is a soon-to-be W3C Recommendation (now published as Last Call Working Draft) which provides the vocabulary to represent and interchange provenance information generated in different systems and under different contexts.

The Starting Point Category is a small set of classes and properties of PROV-O that can be used to create simple, initial provenance descriptions. The next figure is quoted from [PROV-O] ("prov:wasQuotedFrom").

The PROV-O Starting Point.

The so called Expanded Terms provide additional ways to describe the provenance among Entities, Activities, and Agents. Finally, the Qualified Terms category is for users who wish to provide additional details on the provenance-related relationships (qualifying them).

4 Creation Workflow in the Media Value Chain Ontology

The Media Value Chain Ontology [MVCO], conceived within the MPEG-21 standard, formalizes the representation of the Media Value Chain covering the Intellectual Property aspects of the creation workflow. It is standard ISO/IEC 21000-19

The Media Value Chain Ontology describes four main root elements: the actions (mvco:Action), the users (mvco:User), the IP objects (mvco:IPEntity) and the permissions (mvco:Permission).

Basic entities in the MVCO model

IP Entities are further specified, forming a chain liable of being considered with a provenance relationship.

IP Entities in MVCO

From all the possible actions that can be performed on a protected object, only some are significant regarding the Intellectual Property laws and the so called "Value Chain". Thus for example, labeling an object with metadata, is not per-se an action which requires permission while make a public performance it is. The actions that concern the Intellectual Property are those that lead to a transformation of the protected IP Entity, its distribution, its public communication or its consumption. Also, the kinds of user roles that are relevant for the IP conform a limited set, and the types of entities too.

5 Mapping

The three ontologies described in the previous sections converge in the Music Creation Workflow, which can be represented by each of the three models from different points of view. Thus, the MO focus on the musical aspects, enriching the basic entities of FRBR (a model for bibliographic records); the MVCO describes the entities subject to intellectual property protection and user roles derived thereof, and the PROV-O describes mere provenance relationships stating what has been originated from what. As an example, the MusicalWork in MO matches the Work or the Adaptation in the MVCO and the PROV-O accurately represents the transformation of the former in the latter. Queries made by users of the three communities should return the same results, as the referred realities are the same.

Table 1. Relationship between the main elements

The high-level concepts in PROV-O and MVCO can be mapped to elements present in other ontologies like the FOAF (foaf prefix), the Event Ontology (event prefix), the Music Ontology (mo prefix) or the FRBR model (frbr previx).

The mvco:User is a subclass of the foaf:Agent (not all the foaf:Agents are mvco:Users or prov:Agent but the contrary), however foaf:Agent and prov:Agent have been deemed as equivalents: both are defined as doers. Note that prov:Role has not been mapped, as the role of an agent in front of an Entity may very with the time. The frbr:Endeavour (defined in the FRBR vocabulary as any of the products of artistic or creative endeavour) matches closely the mvco:IPEntity class and both are subclasses of prov:Entity. The mvco:Action is just a subset of event:Event (every action is an event, but not every event is an action relevant to the IP matters). By definition, prov:Activity generates another entity, while Event is not defined to necessarily generate anything. Consequently, prov:Activity has been mapped as a subclass of event:Event.

Relationship between the main elements

Subclasses of mvco:IPEntity and frbr:Endeavour are directly mappeable, aligning in turn those of the Music Ontology. PROV-O provides here no refinement, though.

FRBR Works and MVCO Works are equivalent and FRBR Manifestation matches MVCO Copy. FRBR Expressions are further refined in MVCO, where a distinction is made whether this expression has been made originally by the author directly from the abstraction (as wemvco:Manifestation) or it has been a performance based on a particular manifestation, and possibly made by other agent (and we call it then a mvco:Instance). Finally, FRBR Items, are not handled by the MO.

Regarding the specific user roles, the mo:Composer matches the mvco:Creator class. In the MVCO, arrangements are always made by the Creators, mo:Conductor can be considered one member of the mvco:Collective who acts as mvco:Instantiator and the mo:Performer, other member of the mvco:Collective who acts as a mvco:Instantiator. Finally, the mo:Listener is equivalent to the mvco:EndUser

Table 2. Mapping of classes. Grayed typeface denote that no explicit matching has been asserted

Correspondingly, the main object properties can also be mapped. In this case, those used by the Music Ontology (belonging to the Event ontology) are general ones, and the PROV-O and MVCO ones are merely subproperties.

Table 3. Mapping of object properties

A few other mappings might have been done. For example, the event:time could have been seen as a superclass of prov:startedAt and :endedAt, the mo:derived_from a subclass of prov:wasDerivedFrom or the foaf:Group as an equivalent to prov:Collection. However, these entities are not directly related to the Musical Creation Workflow and have been for the moment disregarded.

The only mapped relationships have been that of equivalence (owl:equivalentClass) and subclassing (rdfs:subClassOf or rdfs:subPropertyOf).

The mapping can be downloaded above as a RDF/XML file.

Other comments


FRBR has a new official RDF incarnation. A new version of FRBR in RDF was made by IFLA in 2010 ([FRBRER]), however the Music Ontology is based in the representation of 2005. Therefore, FRBRER has not been considered in this mapping, but mentioned as an important objective for mapping for PROV-O and MVCO.


The initial mapping of MO-MVCO was performed together with Jaime Delgado from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC) in Barcelona, whom we thank for his effort.



Yves Raimond, Frédérick Giasson (eds.), Music Ontology Specification, August 2012. URL:


ISO/IEC 21000-19:2010 Information technology -- Multimedia framework (MPEG-21) -- Part 19: Media Value Chain Ontology. URL:


Marc Gauvin, Jaime Delgado, Víctor Rodríguez-Doncel, Miran Choi, Introduction to the Media Value Chain Ontology, May 2010, URL:


Timothy Lebo, Satya Sahoo and Deborah McGuinness (eds.) Khalid Belhajjame, James Cheney, David Corsar, Daniel Garijo, Stian Soiland-Reyes, and Stephan Zednik Provenance Formal Model. 2011, Working Draft. URL:


IFLA Study Group on the Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records. Functional requirements for bibliographic records : final report. 1998. URL:


Interoperability and semantics in RDF representations of FRBR, FRAD and FRSAD. Presented at the Cologne Conference on Interoperability and Semantics in Knowledge Organization "Concepts in Context" 19-20 Jul 2010.URL:

To the extent possible under law, the authors have waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to this work