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Type: Thesis
Title: People, Platforms, Practice: The Social Mediation of Electronic Music Production
Author: Chambers, Paul Henry
Issue Date: 2019
School/Discipline: School of Social Sciences : Anthropology and Development Studies
Abstract: This thesis is a study of electronic music practice in the Australian city of Adelaide. Based on fieldwork conducted from July 2016 to January 2018, my work builds on scholarship that seeks to examine the impact of digital technology and the Internet on society. Its central aim is to examine how people engaged in making electronic music negotiate the affordances and difficulties of a digitally-connected world. The thesis has a dialectical structure, alternating throughout with perspectives that chart active and reactive responses to the ubiquity of digital technology in society. Three sections explore electronic music at the level of the subject, the object and their combination in the social, to understand how their mediation informs the modern musical assemblage. Born’s (2010) theory of music’s four planes of social mediation is used to explore a field of musical cultures that are spatially and temporally connected, allowing for comparison and understanding of the processes and relations, discourses and ideologies behind contemporary aesthetic practice. It extends Born’s theory by emphasising and extending conceptions of the social to include a range of non-human others, including user interfaces, recommender algorithms and generative music programs. The diversity of perspectives included from across the age range and stylistic spectrum provide a holistic portrait of musical expression in a particular time and place. The accounts of Adelaide’s music makers show how technical, cultural and economic influences intersect, moving beyond a concern with the functionality and spread of digital technology to concentrate on the meanings and contexts of its use. More broadly, as an ethnography on contemporary music and society, it demonstrates how social relationships, software platforms and creative practices are becoming further entwined, encapsulating the shifting state of being in the world today.
Advisor: Rodger, Dianne
Skuse, Andrew
Dissertation Note: Thesis (Ph.D.) -- University of Adelaide, School of Social Sciences, 2019
Keywords: Digital
electronic music
Provenance: This electronic version is made publicly available by the University of Adelaide in accordance with its open access policy for student theses. Copyright in this thesis remains with the author. This thesis may incorporate third party material which has been used by the author pursuant to Fair Dealing exceptions. If you are the owner of any included third party copyright material you wish to be removed from this electronic version, please complete the take down form located at:
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