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

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Publication details

JournalConvergence: The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies
DateE-pub ahead of print - 24 Apr 2015
DatePublished (current) - Aug 2015
Issue number3
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)294-300
Early online date24/04/15
Original languageEnglish


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.

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