Music History in the Deep Field of Digital Music Platforms

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


In this paper I want to examine whether the everyday distribution of music induces a mode of listening that modifies people’s relations to the history of music or not. It is indisputable that the diverse landscape of digital music platforms and music streaming services have an effect on how we perceive music as cultural texts, as commodities and as aesthetic objects. We listen on the go while at the same time using our playback devices for other things; we share playlists and comment on tracks on social media; and we continuously (re)discover and put attention to new connections in the music, thus recontextualizing the experience of, and meaning gathered from, the music. These kind of dealings with music have an impact on the ways our discourses of music, and of the history of music, are forming and producing knowledge. But, are they also challenging the ways we theorize music history? Through a critical examination of a dozen of qualitative interviews done with employees from the Danish Broadcast Corporation (DR) about their experiences of digital streaming services juxtaposed with their experiences of Diskoteket, which is a digital music platform accessible for employees of DR only, I will assess how we might track the influences from these types of platforms on how people talk about music and music history. The overarching aim of this paper is to ruminate on what music history in fact is, and whether there exists such a thing as a digital music history. If that is the case, how should the writing of a digital music history be done?
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2020 Jun 17
EventMusic in the Age of Streaming – Nordic Perspectives - Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden
Duration: 2020 Jun 162020 Jun 17


ConferenceMusic in the Age of Streaming – Nordic Perspectives
Abbreviated titleMITAOS2020
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Musicology


  • Music History
  • digital platforms
  • Listening
  • Qualitative interviews
  • Metadata
  • Digital Archives


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