Digitization and the Musical Future

Most music production and consumption is now mediated as digital files via the Internet – instantly accessible and instantly identified – under conditions that are profoundly changing the nature of musical experience. Music institutions have gradually been devising new ways of responding to this fundamental sociomusical shift, which will ultimately affect many aspects of both research and development, as well as curriculum. 

A few of my current projects in Europe and Asia offer interesting examples of “glocalization” in the sphere of music. With two musicologist colleagues in Poland - Mikolaj Rykowski and Janina Tatarska - I am presently developing a book on the impact of globalization in music, based on international conferences in 2014 and 2015 at the Academy of Music in Poznan (with chapters by ourselves, Krzysztof Moraczewskis, and other scholars). 

I am also now serving as External Reviewer for an innovative new Master program in Community-Based Arts Education at Hong Kong Institute of Education, which offers promising responses to the challenges of glocalization in contemporary arts pedagogy. In Beijing, I am working with the China Conservatory for development of its Open Global Music Academy, an initiative of the International Music Institutions Leaders Forum, which will facilitate effective online collaboration between several higher education music institutions around the world. It will be exciting to see how these projects develop further in 2015.

UPDATE (9 January, 2015): Below are program pages from my keynote speech on the first day of 2015: "Strategies for Attracting Global Attention to Research in Chinese Music Education," at Chinese Traditional Culture's Diversity in Music Education Research: An Academic Forum, hosted by China Conservatory (Nirvana Resort Hotel, Beijing, January 1-2, 2015). Organized by Professor Jiaxing Xie, this was a national conference with over 50 registered presenters from 25 Chinese university, college and conservatory music programs: music educationists, musicologists, ethnomusicologists, performers, arts managers, and music technology specialists. The keynote speech had simultaneous translation into Chinese. The other presentations covered an array of research topics, and especially demonstrated interest in the changing conditions of traditional music in an era of digitization.

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