Technological Engagement and Musical Eclecticism: An Examination of Contemporary Listening Practices

Melissa Avdeeff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The ways in which technology mediates the relationship between people and music has
increasingly evolved since the advent of playback devices. With the arrival of digital music,
and its inherent culture of digitality, new issues have emerged regarding musical
engagement at the level of fan and/or consumer. This paper will explore how and what
people are engaging with music, as mediated by technology. These two issues will be
categorized by: (1) the immense quantity of popular music available digitally is promoting a
culture of eclecticism, whereby people are not tied to specific genres when defining their
tastes. Personal genre alliance has fallen out of favour, and replaced by fluid definitions of
genres and artists, that are user-driven and highly personalized and subjective: for example,
folksonomies. (2) One of the primary ways in which people consume music is through
portable media devices, such as the iPods. It is shown that there are statistically significant
differences in genre preference between those who use MP3 players and those who do not.
This paper utilises a dataset comprised from both qualitative and quantitative means.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265 - 285
Number of pages21
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Digitality
  • Genre
  • iPod; Taste
  • Engagement;
  • Consumption
  • Empirical;
  • Subjectivity;
  • Youth.


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