Sep. 23 Reading Response

Jones discussed the internet and how music has been changed and revolutionized by technologies. The mobility that music gained from internetworking brought the globalization of culture and the development in music making, consuming, distributing. And he also suggests the popular music studies as the best area to examine the technology’s intersection with social life and social being. Internet offered music not only the asynchronous online music making but also the new consuming environment and market powers. With the development of computer how to purchase and consume music have been evolved. And the internet as a new media has created new economy in the music industry limitlessly. The disintermediation of the market also pays attention to not only the digital distribution of music but also online services like streaming. The issues he listed for music industry are very specific and some of them are ongoing debates related with our previous readings.

Nevertheless Hugill discussed with the definition of Internet music and categorized them in five types. First he clarifies the Internet and the World Wide Web. Internet, is a network which connects individual computers and enables file sharing with using IP protocol (either the network is a server client or peer-to-peer), whereas the World Wide Web is a “one way of sharing information across this network” using HTTP protocol. And his definition is “Internet music is intended to encompass all kinds of musical activity on all kinds of network”. What he signified in discussion is the latency and asynchronous value of this kind of music, and he intended its importance should not be underestimated.

The types of Internet music are classified, and some of them could be overlapped.

  • Music that uses the Network to Connect Physical Spaces of Instruments: this type is a good examples of asynchronous music like online jamming.
  • Music that is Created or Performed in Virtual Environments or Uses Virtual Instruments: in a virtual world, anyone can manipulate the virtual instruments. “The biggest musical challenge in a virtual world is to establish what kind of interaction will take place between the various human and virtual agents, and how this translates into sound.
  • Music that Translates into Sound Aspects of the Network Itself: the most honest form of Internet music addressing issues how to translate the digital sound through data traffic.
  • Music that Uses the Internet to Enable Collaborative Composition or Performance: Internet offers integral creativeness of composition or performance. Good examples are YouTube Symphony Orchestra directed by Michael Tilson Thomas or Virtual Choir by Eric Whitacre.
  • Music that is Delivered via the Internet, with Varying Degrees of User Interactivity: examples are internet radios, online music games, sound toys, educational websites and these users has been changed in a variety ways of interaction.

Here are the questions to share,

  1. Before computers and Internet, a listener's role was passive and limited. Now in the cyber space, the role has ben changed actively. What are the good examples we can come up with about listener's invention in music making, consuming and distributing?
  2. Is there a difference between digital music and Internet music in terms of their definition? If so, what are they?
  3. Hugill's article and the types of Internet music he mentioned are 10 years ago. Are there any changes or developments in a current Internet musics? What about Napster or Itunes?

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