November Colloquium: The Analysis of Behaviour and Culture Through Digital Music Consumption

Don’t miss our next monthly Colloquium event, on Thursday, November 27th, from 12:30-1:30 in the Sherman Centre. This month, we’re featuring Michael Barone, of the McMaster Digital Music Lab.

The Analysis of Behaviour and Culture Through Digital Music Consumption

Digital-music has been the catalyst for an unprecedented period of change in music consumption since its explosion in the late nineties. This change has been controversial, but nevertheless has permeated through every aspect of our musical lives and the industry at large. For those working in the digital humanities, the development of digital music has led to the availability of massive amounts of data. Since 2013, the digital music lab (DML) at McMaster in association with Nokia, and latterly Microsoft, has been researching this evolving digital music consumption market. Our database contains over 1.3 billion commercially derived downloads–the music-acquisition data of many millions of people globally.

Exploring digital music consumption in terms of cultural transmission provides a unique opportunity to analyze the relationship between music and society. Supported by high-performance computing (SHARCNET), the DML has taken advantage of this opportunity through the use of tools such as MySQL, Python, and R to produce algorithms capable of exploring music-listening behaviours in a variety of ways. For example, I will discuss the effect music consumption of massive global sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup, the adolescent “reminiscence bump”, and the link between genre preference and personality traits.

If you’d like to read more about the work that the Digital Music Lab is doing, check out this CBC article from March 2013. And if you’re interested in presenting your work at a future Sherman Centre Colloquium, please get in touch with me. We’re always looking for opportunities to showcase the work of people involved in any aspect of digital scholarship.

Are you interested in presenting at the Sherman Centre Colloquium on a topic related to digital scholarship and research? Contact Paige Morgan for more information or to submit an abstract.

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