Communication and Culture | Topics in Media, Culture, and Society (Topic: Music and New Media)
C204 | 14501 | Harvey, E.

MTuWTh, 1:10 PM-2:40 PM, C2 100

Fulfills College S&H Requirement

Instructor: Eric Harvey

In the late 20th and early 21st century, we are witnessing a major
change in which peer-to-peer networks, mp3s, iPods, and YouTube have
reframed how music is produced, how we access and use it, and how it
is regulated.  A bit more than a century ago, the rise of popular
music in the late 19th and early 20th century was driven in large
part by new media, which were created and utilized to create,
circulate, restrict, and sell music.  Sheet music, the phonograph
and player piano, and radio helped shape the soundscape in
dramatically new ways.  Between these moments, the 20th century saw
many other innovations—the LP and 45, television, the compact disc,
sampling and electronic composition—work to effect the creation and
dissemination of music, and our experience of it.

In this class, we will focus on how musical experience is shaped by
media, and how media themselves are developed out of specific social
and cultural contexts.  In particular, we will focus on the moments
when these media are “new,” as a way to understand the social and
historical contexts from which innovations arise, and the
negotiations that emerge around them to solidify particular uses.
Through a range of theoretical and methodological approaches—
historical, anthropological, performance-centered, sociological,
legal, and journalistic—we will consider the following issues:

•	What it means for a technology, or medium, to be “new”
•	How new technologies are developed and used in specific
social and cultural contexts
•	The relationship between technologies and commodities
•	The relationship between popular music, television and film
•	How copyright law responds to new technologies
•	How new technologies impact ideas of musical performance
•	The ways new technologies impact musical genres