New Media Use and Music Appreciation: Connections Between Contemporary Access to Music and its Perceived Value

Hauke Egermann, D. Kahlhoefer, C.-M. Schultz, M. Seedorf

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


1. Background In the course of a quick technological advancement and a wide dissemination of digital entertainment media, music has developed a certain ubiquity and free accessibility. Modern music streaming services offer millions of songs with little or no payment needed. Critical voices, especially in the musicological discourse, describe within this development a strong bias towards the trivialization of music and its consumption, towards the economical and ideational devaluation of music itself. So, within this context, one could ask, if new media use for music listening does affect music appreciation negatively. 2. Aims First, by means of factor analysis, the complex construct appreciation of music will be analyzed and divided into sub-dimensions. We will then try to determine if these aspects are related to certain ways of mediatized music consumption. Furthermore, we will test also for specific connections between the use of music streaming services and a decreased appreciation of music. 3. Methods In an online survey 125 participants rated agreement with 43 items describing their music appreciation in various ways. Subsequently, they were also asked about their music consumption habits (access technology and use frequency). The music appreciation items were then subject to a principal component analysis. 4. Results The resulting components show several dimensions in which the elusive construct of music appreciation can be segmented: investment willingness/economical appreciation, cognitive appreciation, social importance, and cultural importance. Furthermore, those components are correlated with various ways of mediatized music consumption. However, the use of free streaming services does not negatively interfere with any dimension of music appreciation. 5. Conclusions The interpretation of these results leads to questioning traditional forms of music appreciation and current discourses within cultural policy. Economical appreciation presents itself as a political issue that deals with the cultural and economic value of music in the digital age. So the idea of appreciation itself has to be discussed as an object of a constant social change. In principle, we believe that modern forms of music consumption do not contradict music appreciation, but they are in steady confrontation and exchange with it.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Title of host publicationAbstract Book of the 13th International Conference of Music Perception and Cognition
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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