The emergence of vernacular digital music cultures



Publication Details

Whelan, A. (2017). The emergence of vernacular digital music cultures. In G. Goggin & M. McLelland (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Global Internet Histories (pp. 436-447). New York, United States: Routledge.

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Many of the ways that remediation via network technology is now understood are given, in part, by the established narratives of the encounter between music and technology, especially form the late 1990s onward. This encounter provides a kind of benchmark to which more recent developments can be indexed. It functions as a template for understanding conflict around emerging technologies and imagining and anticipating the roles, attributes, and temperaments of the various players in such conflict. These include software developers (open-source or otherwise), “new” media entrepreneurs and start-ups, Internet service providers (ISPs), “old” or established media industry interests, their lobbyists, and their legal representation, creative labor, and the audience (both commonly imagined as young, cool, and technologically savvy), consumer advocacy and civil liberties campaigners, state regulatory entities, the more remote international standardization and legal oversight bodies (such as the International Standards Organisation), and so on. The communication channels between these various social worlds, and the affordances of the digital media environment for the development of new forms of value, new directions of financial flow, and new marketing opportunities in a context of surveillance and big data, are similarly foreshadowed in the music/technology narrative.

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