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The Sound of Streamed Music
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Music and dance. (Evolving bildung in the nexus of streaming services, art and users – Spotify as a case)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2250-3939
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Arts, Communication and Education, Media, audio technology and experience production and theater. (Evolving bildung in the nexus of streaming services, art and users – Spotify as a case)
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

…the majority of consumers seem to be unaware of this, or of the audio quality

they’re missing out on! They spend endless hours experiencing audio at sub-

128kbps bit rates, at the mercy of whoever uploaded the material, without

knowing what it should sound like, without realising how bad it sounds, and

unaware of the artefacts they’re hearing that shouldn’t be there.

The quote stems from a journalist writing in the music recording magazine of Sound on Sounds

and highlights issues concerning on-line music and the affordance such music brings for the

listeners. Currently, music may be accessed via real-time streaming, accessed in complex

conglomerates side by side with other types of content via computers, mobile phones, tablets,

televisions, car stereos and soon to be accessed via new technology housed by the Internet of

Things (IoT). Up until now, the technology of streaming has focused on access, robustness,

interoperability between devices and extensive additional service augmenting the realm of

musicking. Issues of the musical sound qualities and how aspects of sound quality interplay with

the affordance of listening have more or less been neglected in favour of accessibility. From what

we have learned from scholars accounting for digital formats and bit reduction as well as

compression of dynamics in sound, there are some aspects concerning this field that is missing

and as it seems neglected for the masses of music consumption.

The development of smart technology orbiting music has just recently returned to issues of high

fidelity and home stereo equipment. This development could be interpreted as a renaissance for

the affordance of music listening. However, the quality of sound, which embeds the music, is

not solely depending on the recording, the mix or the mastering engineers. It also depends on

the adaptation of sound streams for the final playback device. In addition to these traditional

delimiting nodes of sound quality, streamed music is constituted by numerous things and aspects

such as broadband access, broadband capability, the robustness of the broadband system, the

digital format and the velocity of transmission.

This presentation, which is a part of a larger research project focusing the streaming company of

Spotify as an actor of musical Bildung, will outline a suggestion for a designed method where

different categories of participators will be selected to research the affordance of sound qualities

of streamed music. Affordance of listening should be understood as the nexus between sound

engineering and music cognition bridged by music education. The research should focus

traditional aspects of perception and cognition but also socialisation that constitutes taste and

preferences, and finally educational aspects as conceptualisation, learning and awareness. Four

main themes are emphasised in this presentation; (i) developing methods to describe and measure

sensation quantities when it comes to describing sound quality and the affordance of perceptual

coding, (ii) selecting various types of listeners regarding age, gender, music educational

background when studying stimulus quantities of streamed music, (iii) using the listeners preferred

music to complement music from a control sample of tunes, and (iv) attributes used to

communicate quality of sound and music within various communities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oslo: NNMPF , 2018.
National Category
Music Media and Communications Other Humanities not elsewhere specified Didactics
Research subject
Audio Technology; Music Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-67315OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-67315DiVA, id: diva2:1175813
Conference
24th Nordic Network for Research in Music Education, in Oslo, 12-15 februari 2018
Projects
Marcus and Amalia Wallenberg Memorial FundAvailable from: 2018-01-18 Created: 2018-01-18 Last updated: 2018-02-12Bibliographically approved

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