Thursday, September 27, 2007

Did you hear something new this week?

Sharing musical taste, or, even stronger, luring others into your favorite music, is a common activity at school and birthday parties. Nevertheless, the most common way we get to know about new or different music is probably through reviews by experts on concerts and recently released CDs. New in that sense is the role that the Internet starts to play in all this.

In the last few years it became possible to share music and musical taste through Internet communities on an much larger and more personal, one-to-one scale. This is a growing —if not booming— social and cultural phenomenon, that is clearly changing the way communities of music lovers ‘lure’ each other into other musical domains and modes of listening. Next to being facilitated by recent digital recording and distribution techniques, it is mainly the partly unforeseen impact of user-generated content (‘Web 2.0’) that contributes to its success. It seems a development that is worth studying for music, media and music cognition researchers (At the University of Amsterdam a consortium is currently thinking in that direction).

P.S. Did I hear something new last week? Well, yes. Last Monday (in the Bimhuis) I heard for the first time a begana (a 10 string lira), an instrument I saw, around age 8, on the first page of a history of musical instruments book but that I actually never heard. It didn’t sound at all the way I imagined it (listen).

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