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The Variations2 Data Model includes the following entities and relationships:
The Work represents the abstract concept of a musical composition or set of compositions. It is manifested in the Instantiation, which represents a manifestation of a work as a recorded performance or a score. The physical level is represented by the Container, which is the item or set of item(s) on which one or more instantiations of works can be found, e.g. a CD or published score. This is actually the level which is most typically represented in the traditional USMARC catalogs. Finally, the Media Object represents a piece of digital media content, such as a sound file or score image, and Contributors represent people or groups that contribute to a work, instantiation, or container.
Here is an example of how real recordings and scores might fit into the Variations2 Data Model.
A CD titled “Mozart, Piano Works” would represent the container level in the Data Model.
The recordings of two different pieces on this CD—Sonata K.279 and Fantasia K.397—would become instantiations, each having its own properties (recording date, place, etc.).
The performers of these recordings would receive appropriate Contributor records with their own attributes (dates of birth, etc.). This is especially valuable because unlike in the USMARC system, Variations2 Data Model accommodates very clear and precise linking of performers and works.
Each of the instantiations would be linked to an abstract work record, with its own “global” work properties. The work record, in its turn, is linked to its contributor, the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
A score would be accommodated in a similar way. For example, a score of the Piano Fantasia K. 397 would be linked to its instantiation, which would be related to the appropriate work and its contributor.