Mark Thorley (Conventry University): Participatory music culture: the challenges for identity, creativity and recognition
The advent of recording technology served to break down the link between musician and audience (Eisenberg 2005), and the music participant became the music consumer. Emerging digital technologies are now reversing this trend and music participation is all the more possible. Though the environment for recorded music continues to experience significant threat, the environment for music participation now thrives in ways not previously imaginable.
Much of this new participation is enabled technologically, and its likely impact has received attention. For example, the concept of the ‘Prosumer’ was originally established by Toffler (1980) and participation culture has been examined by Jenkins (2006). Additionally, the potential of networks is considered by Benkler (2006), and the concept of peer-production by Tapscott and Williams (2006). As the opportunities for the music creative expand, and the role of the music consumer shifts to participant, key questions emerge as to how this change challenges established roles.
Drawing on concepts outlined in a chapter in ‘Music and Virtuality’ published by Oxford University Press, this paper focuses on key impacts on the Producer and Fan. For example, in adopting Crowdfunding, how does the shift challenge the music producer? For the fan, what does engaging with the funding of projects do for their identity and recognition within the process?