Music and the Internet

Call for papers deadline: 
9 Sep 2018
Conference dates: 
8 Dec 2018
University of Oxford
Call for papers: 


‘Music and the Internet’

A Joint Study Day of the RMA and BFE

University of Oxford

Saturday 8th December 2018


Keynote Speaker: Prof. Georgina Born


Since the turn of the millennium, music and the Internet have become increasingly entangled with one another. For many Internet users, the musical web has become an integral part of everyday life, while worldwide digitization initiatives have transformed musical production practices and modes of consumption. In their recent Music & Letters article, Georgina Born and Christopher Haworth note that the Internet ‘multiplies music’s discursive and social mediation, engendering new online entities, practices, and relations, which may themselves augment, publicize, and globalize offline forms’. Alluding to new research directions, they reason that the study of Internet-mediated music ‘necessitates interdisciplinary approaches that integrate digital methods with both ethnography and history’ (Born & Haworth 2018: 603, 647).

Responding to these developments, this BFE/RMA study day seeks to foster dialogue between musicologists and ethnomusicologists who are interested in the online mediation of music and novel methodological approaches that support its study. How is the Internet involved in the formation of musical and political subjects? What can we learn from online interactions between artists and fans, performers and audiences? Why have musical memes become a contagious aspect of popular culture in the current decade? In what ways does the Internet afford renewed interest in music making among large corporations? Who are the users that make use of the musical web, and on whose terms do they play and listen?

We invite proposals for papers of 20-minutes, which will each be followed by 10 minutes of discussion. The keynote address will be given by Professor Georgina Born and the day will conclude with a roundtable on digital research methodologies. We particularly welcome papers by graduate students and early career researchers.

Prospective paper topics may include (but are not limited to):

  • The online consumption of music: YouTube, Spotify, SoundCloud, etc.
  • The transformation of music economies and the emergence of the digital music commodity
  • Emancipation, control, and the politics of Internet use
  • The materialities and social meanings of digital music technologies
  • Online communities and the construction of celebrity personae
  • Internet-mediated music genres
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to musical memes and user-generated content
  • The use of smartphones for music creation and dissemination
  • Internet piracy and reconfigurations of Intellectual Property
  • Digital methodologies: using the Internet for ethnographic and musicological inquiry

Paper titles and abstracts of 250 words should be sent to by 9th September 2018. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 7th October 2018. For more information, please see the conference website:

Programme Committee: Pablo Infante-Amate (University of Oxford), Edward Spencer (University of Oxford), Georgina Born (University of Oxford), Eric Clarke (University of Oxford).