Recently in musicology blogging

Phil (with some cracking YouTube action) and Jonathan continue the discussion of music and the primary campaigns.

Which together tie rather nicely to Ryan Raul Bañagale’s thought-provoking call for a Millennial Musicology. I say there’s a connection because while Phil’s post is an example of the advantages of web resources to musicology (the subject of Bañagale’s proposal), Jonathan – who evaluates some of the relative production values of the music Phil linked to  – points to one potential current limitation of YouTube and similar technologies. And that is that the quality of such videos (not to mention the pre-upload editing that may have taken place) is pretty low-grade: they’re small, loading can be jumpy, the images aren’t crystal, and the sound is rarely up to much. A lot of ‘noise’ is one thing in manuscript studies – where most critical evaluation is taking place ‘behind’ the surface scribbles any case – but I wonder about its methodological implications for the critical study of contemporary or recent phenomena, like pop videos. In such cases the YouTube experience is already several steps removed from the originally broadcast experience, even before we start thinking about horizons of expectation, historical context and so on. Do such limitations on the quality of the musical/visual experience matter if one is intending to write serious criticism or analysis? Even if not, that’s kind of interesting in itself…

Elsewhere: Kariann Goldschmitt on the ‘useful’ musicologist; Gabriel points us to a new crit theory blog; and Scott has some new takes – just as scientically legitimate – on the Mozart effect.


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