Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cue music

Brown Eyes 1
Technology has a key role to play in the history of music performance, recording and distribution. Within our own lifetime we have seen a massive expansion of radio-based music broadcasting (including the rather troubled emergence of the DAB format), rapid changes in music storage (from vinyl and reel-to-reel tape and on to eight-track, audio cassettes, mini disks, CDs and MP3 files) and changes in how live music is produced. All these changes have contributed to new ways of hearing music, and have transformed the role that music plays in our lives. Listening to our favourite tunes on an MP3 player or mobile phone allows us to take our music with us and this compares rather unfavourably to the idea of lugging a carrier-bag full of vinyl LPs around with us to share with our friends! It's an aspect of networked individualism - our music is delivered to us regardless of place, it has become highly portable. And so I think the way we use music in our everyday lives has had a sort of backwash effect on how we view live performance.


Jackie Marsh said...

Great post, couldn't agree more. I just love how mobile technology means that we can now have music as a soundtrack to all kinds of daily events, and not just music files - I often watch YouTube music videos on my iphone when on the road.

Guy Merchant said...

So I guess that completely changes the way we think about music and moving image...making live music performance or movie going a more particular sort of experience.