DJ Taxonomy: Introduction notes

4 Jan

Following this idea that one could draft a taxonomy of DJing styles (identifying different needs in serveral axis (technical requimentns, gestures and musical actions, gear used, music notation, musical outcome, creative processes, and so on…) I give it a try. But because this matter only is important and deep enough to be the complete focus of one focus for several working months, this research is more of a draft/reflections on a possible taxonomy than a complete study.

For the study to be developed here, we’ll use a simple notation of conceptual mappings (with help of Cmap) to correlate verbs with the items defined on the DJ taxonomy. We pretend to analyse several DJing styles first and then merge the knowledge into a taxonomy, and discussing the results.

A note to the critical reader that I agreed that separation of DJing styles should at all times be avoided,but the fact is observing the full scale is much harder and there are areas with less musical outcome overlaping (a quick example is that club DJs rarely use any techniques that experimental turntablists often consider as common… exceptions exist, and once again I do not intend t perform musical genre isolation but rather simplify the problem with fragmentation).

Along the next posts we’ll present conceptual maps to several possible taxonomys of DJing styles.


6 Responses to “DJ Taxonomy: Introduction notes”

  1. Patrick Lambe January 4, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    This sounds very much like a faceted taxonomy approach, where each facet represents one of the aspects of what you want to cover. Are you intending a faceted approach, or thinking of a single hierarchy taxonomy?

  2. PedroLopes January 4, 2010 at 6:54 am #

    Yes, in a way by using generalization/specialization and concept connectivity it resembles a faceted taxonomy. But the relations are actually “ruled”, so it will probably be a Hierarchy Taxonomy. Where the generalization creates a subset of certain concepts. Although, this is still a draft for the possible taxonomy.

    The original idea came from the fact that there are some websites proposing a taxonomy of DJs but none actually goes futher and instantiate it (even if it is a mere possible draft).
    I still have to research it futher, because many concepts are missing (such as Experimental DJs) that can are derived from multiple generalization/inheritence.

    P.s.: Also, a more suitable notation will be used for describing the taxonomy when it is more mature.

  3. Patrick Lambe January 4, 2010 at 7:11 am #

    Interesting! What do you imagine the taxonomy would be used for? What is its main utility?

  4. PedroLopes January 4, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    One cannot develop suitable applications without understanding the surrounding context needs, right?

    So in one hand it would suit for an intelectual framework for basing decisions towards the develpment of DJ interfaces. Showing us a set of requirments that each system must met in order to be deployable for that DJ-type.

    On the other hand it also denotes an interesting social study, because we can analyze how different DJing styles exist, their needs and ultimately figure out what lead to this divisions.

  5. Matt Moore January 5, 2010 at 12:57 am #

    Pedro – The two main groups of end user for such a taxonomy would be i. DJs & ii.listeners/dancers. There are subsidiary user groups (equipment manufacturers, producers, promoters) but these groups would want to see things through the eyes of one or both of the above groups.

    I suspect the needs & required categories would be different for these 2 groups.

    One initial option might be to look at DJ folksonomies – i.e. look at keywords/tags/description applied to uploaded DJ mixes.

  6. PedroLopes January 5, 2010 at 1:13 am #

    Matt Moore :
    Pedro – The two main groups of end user for such a taxonomy would be i. DJs & ii.listeners/dancers.

    In fact, those have to be considered when deploying a full taxonomy of the DJing task, because are relevant in the DJ work context. But notheless if you span in that direction you’ll have to consider a listening audience (radio/web DJs do not have listeners that are on-location) and consider several other niches like musicians that often collaborate with DJs (even club ones use musicians live nowadays) and experimental DJ uses a variety of artists in collaboration. So to draw a full taxonomy is actually a very wide job, but will be worthtaking.

    But our taxonomy here, or I’d rather say – our draft of the Dj context, is just for purpose of studyiing their actions. This is directed at our work focus that is not social but towards an analysis of the Setups that the DJs use nowadays. This means that the listening audience have virtually no impact on the techniques chosen, one can argue on this but major Djing activity is independent of the listening audience, and techniques do not change if audience changes. But techniques do change if DJ type changes.
    An by this small taxonomy we see that different DJ stypes tend to perform different actions. Thus their action list carries an implicit meaning in Dj classification.

    I hope to finish my thesis work now (I have a deadline soon) and then I can build more on DJ taxonomies. I have some posts already drafted on the topic, considering musical genres and DJ classification.

    Matt Moore :
    One initial option might be to look at DJ folksonomies – i.e. look at keywords/tags/description applied to uploaded DJ mixes.

    Thanks for the comment, I did actually take some look at meta tagging used for DJing online website, as DJs use them to descibe their mix. But their more related to the musical content than to the actions performed, although as its possible to figure out there is in fact a connection (than can be strong in some cases) between musical genre and applyed Dj actions (e.g. Hip Hop DJs are mainly turntablists or scratch afficionados).

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