Earworm

earworm
ˈɪəwəːm/
noun

 1. a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind.

 

Below are my two podcast episodes created on the basis of investigating music as media form, and its ability to transcend space and functionality to create feeling and meaning. ‘Earworm’ is a podcast I have created to explore the idea that modern consumers of music have evolved and our relationship with music as a media through space and engagement has changed with the multiple platforms available to us as an audience.

I hope you enjoy them, and you never know, more could be coming your way.

Transcript of both episodes are below.

Transcript Episode One

Hi, my name is Maddy, and welcome to “EarWorm”. In this podcast I will be exploring the way we consume and engage with music through different platforms and how being in a digital culture has affected our relationship with music. It has already been explored in experiments about how music does have an effect on our emotions and brains. Pouyanfar and Sameti in 2014 stated that there is a close relation between human emotions and music due to the parts of the brain that perceive emotion and sense music being so close to each other, and Bhatti in 2016 stated the seemingly obvious, that the appreciation and affection to music is a universal attribute – so I’m not looking to dispute this.
I’m looking to see whether through interviewing people who actively engage in music during the day find that their relationship and appreciation with music changes with platforms they engage in.

The story of music and our relationship with it is a long one. Since the first recorded song in 1860 of a woman singing “Claire de la Lune” to the beginning of streaming services such as Spotify or Tidal, listening to music is a pleasure that transcends time. How we consume music has adapted to technological advances throughout the last 100 years. Music has had it’s time being heard and recorded on phonographic cylinders, gramophones, vinyl, 4 track stereo-pak, cassettes, compact discs (CDs), mp3s and now music has entered a moment where it is dematerialized – in a way reflecting it’s natural state.

The US Nielsen mid year 2016 report shows increases in online music streaming services – a 59% increase from last year. That’s 209 billion songs streamed on demand. Total music consumption for the year is up 9% and surprisingly LP or vinyl sales are up 12% and actual compact disc sales are only dropping year by year. This is crazy. But is there a correlation between people going back to buying LPs and the rise in digital music consumption? Is there an emotional reason old school sounds are on their way up? And has the accessibility to music also affected our relationship with music? More to come, next episode.

 

Transcript Episode Two

Hi and welcome back to Earworm. In this episode I am interviewing fellow university student and music lover Ashley. She has generously offered to answer some questions I have about her own music consumption and music platforms and the spatial differentiations we have in the world today.

Maddy: So, Vinyl record sales are only on their way up, have you listened to a vinyl album in the past 6 months?

Ashley: I actually have, I actually listened to my favourite vinyl album this morning, my favourite vinyl at the moment is The Avalanches “Wildflower”. I bought that on vinyl, and uhm, but it’s funny that you mention its on the way up because I definitely think in terms of like consumer uptake by younger people, yeah definitely I’ve known about vinyl since I was growing up my dad had one [sic – vinyl player].

Maddy: In the past 6 months vinyl sales, this is from the Nielson in the USA data collection they’ve been up 12% in the past like 6 months.

Ashley: Yeah that’s hectic.

Maddy: That’s massive, whereas of course cd material sales are going down. So, what is the primary way you listen to music, whether your ipod, cd, in the car?

Ashley: I’d probably say itunes, both on my phone and my mac

Maddy: Do you listen to it more on your phone or in your car because it’s easier on a digital platform and more accessible?

Ashley: Yeah I would just say for portability I never know when I want to listen to music but the most times I do I have my phone with me like I don’t always have my laptop with me.

Maddy: So do you think you appreciate music differently pending on the different platforms you listen to it on, so Spotify, vinyl, cd. Do you have an emotional connection to the music if you were listening to the same album on each platform?

Ashley: Yep, definitely like I literally feel more emotional when I’m listening to a vinyl and that could be any range of emotions if I’m listening to a vinyl, than I’m listening to my phone, laptop or like ambient music, like it’s so much more personal.

Maddy: Has new technology and instant music gratification such a digital media like Spotify, Shazam, itunes, have they changed how we see and relate to music as a media, as a whole?

Ashley: Yeah I think so, definitely because you can consume anything, it’s kind of transcended the boundaries of space and time like the sign of it is just distribution, like profiting off music’s changed heaps. So I guess you could say that consumers have more power than ever, that now consumers are more with music simply because we have a choice, like there’s almost like there’s a semblance of democracy like we have the power to choose how we listen to it when we get it. Now we are more engaged because we’re not just passively listening to music, we are actively contributing to the creation of music culture and I think that’s something that’s really exciting.

Maddy: Thank you Ashley for your contribution to my podcast.

Ashley: You’re welcome!

 

References

Bhatti, A., Majid, M., Anwar, S. and Khan, B. (2016). Human emotion recognition and analysis in response to audio music using brain signals. Computers in Human Behavior, [online] 65, pp.267-275. Available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0747563216305945 [Accessed 25 Oct. 2016].

Billboard. (2016). U.S. Record Industry Sees Album Sales Sink to Historic Lows (Again) — But People Are Listening More Than Ever. [online] Available at: http://www.billboard.com/articles/business/7430863/2016-soundscan-nielsen-music-mid-year-album-sales-sink-streaming-growth [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Byrne, D. (2012). How Do Our Brains Process Music?. [online] Smithsonian. Available at: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/how-do-our-brains-process-music-32150302/?no-ist [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Nielsen.com. (2015). Everyone Listens to Music, But How We Listen is Changing. [online] Available at: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2015/everyone-listens-to-music-but-how-we-listen-is-changing.html [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].

Nielsen.com. (2016). Nielsen Releases 2016 Mid-Year U.S. Music Report. [online] Available at: http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/press-room/2016/nielsen-releases-2016-mid-year-us-music-report.html [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

Noiseaddicts.com. (2011). First and earliest Recording ever made – the phonautograph. [online] Available at: http://www.noiseaddicts.com/2008/08/earliest-recording-human-voice/ [Accessed 29 Oct. 2016].

S. Pouyanfar and H. Sameti, “Music emotion recognition using two level classification,” Intelligent Systems (ICIS), 2014 Iranian Conference on, Bam, 2014, pp. 1-6.
doi: 10.1109/IranianCIS.2014.6802519

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