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Domestic space, music technology and the emergence of solitary listening: Tracing the roots of solipsistic sound culture in the digital age
Örebro University, School of Music, Theatre and Art. (Musikvetenskap)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5809-3575
University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden. (Everyday Devices.)
2017 (English)In: Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning, E-ISSN 2002-021X, Vol. 99, no 1, p. 105-123Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Listening to music alone, what may be termed solitary listening, is probably the most widespread form of listening in our digital age. However, for almost half a century of sound reproduction technology, various forms of social listening were the norm. In this article we discuss what we see as the most important preconditions for solitary listening as it developed during the course of the twentieth century. More specifically, we argue that solitary listening became the dominant form of listening toward the middle of the century as a result of three different, but interrelated, developments in modern society: (1) the emergence of the modern living room; (2) the arrival of new and ever more sophisticated technologies for sound reproduction; and (3) a continuously growing individualism in society at large, fostering an aesthetic individualism in which solitary listening found its natural place. With the Internet, digital technology and modern noise-cancelling headphones the journey from social to solitary listening has reached its ultimate destination, giving rise to what can perhaps best be described as a contemporary solipsistic sound culture. At the same time, through the sharing of music and musical playlists on social media the social aspects of musical listening seem to have returned in a new form.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Svenska samfundet för musikforskning , 2017. Vol. 99, no 1, p. 105-123
Keywords [en]
Solitary listening, mediatization, reception, domestic space, sound reproduction technology, individualism, popular music
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-63988OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-63988DiVA, id: diva2:1172224
Projects
Everyday Devices. Mediatisation, Disciplining and Localisation of Music, in Sweden 1900-1970
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 2015-01858Available from: 2018-01-09 Created: 2018-01-09 Last updated: 2018-03-23Bibliographically approved

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Domestic space, music technology and the emergence of solitary listening: Tracing the roots of solipsistic sound culture in the digital age(196 kB)48 downloads
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Volgsten, Ulrik

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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  • text
  • asciidoc
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