Music in the Household


Much has been written about how the digital economy can transform people’s lives; change the relationships among individuals and society through the growing and constantly changing ecosystem of ICTs and applications. Digital music, as one of the keystones of the digital economy is a useful lens through which we can understand such transformations. For example, people can now consume music in diverse ways. Besides computers, people can also use mp3 players or their phones to listen to music. They can discover and explore music through social media and media channels such as Facebook and YouTube. Besides consumption, technologies allow people to archive, share, curate, collaborate around, or even to create music. But how has this experience of music in the digital economy shaped our lives and changed our society? More importantly, we are keen to understand how this has changed our relationships with others. For example, how and under what circumstances does music at home lead to situations of social exclusion and social tension? And conversely we also want to explore how music at home can support bonding, strengthen families and build communities. To answer these questions, we are undertaking qualitative research in households – sites where interactions with music are prevalent. Using ethnographically inspired tools such as diaries, postcards, and interviews, we are collecting data that offers a rich description of music practices among friends, families and co-residents. Through this case study, we hope to establish a deeper understanding of the influence of digital music upon how we interact with each other at home. This in turn can better informed the design of new digital creative economy; new technologies and services that can not only enrich the experience of music but also can foster inclusivity, participation and collaboration.

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Dr Tuck Wah Leong: