Sound, materiality and embodiment challenges for the concept of 'musical expertise' in the age of digital mediatization

Steffen Lepa, Anne-Kathrin Hoklas, Hauke Egermann, Stefan Weinzierl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Within academic music research, musical expertise' is often employed as a moderator variable' when conducting empirical studies on music listening. Prevalent conceptualizations typically conceive of it as a bundle of cognitive skills acquired through formal musical education. By implicitly drawing on the paradigm of the Western classical live concert, this ignores that for most people nowadays, the term music' refers to electro-acoustically generated sound waves rendered by audio or multimedia electronic devices. Hence, our article tries to challenge the traditional musicologist's view by drawing on empirical findings from three more recent music-related research lines that explicitly include the question of media playback technologies. We conclude by suggesting a revised musical expertise concept that extends from the traditional dimensions and also incorporates expertise gained through ecological perception, material practice and embodied listening experiences in the everyday. Altogether, our contribution shall draw attention to growing convergences between musicology and media and communications research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)294-300
Number of pages7
JournalConvergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
Issue number3
Early online date24 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2015

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