Thursday, January 12, 2006


According to a bunch of University types, the existence of music on demand through the internet and ringtone downloads and so on is leading people to lose the emotional connection with songs:

"The accessibility of music has meant it is taken for granted and does not require a deep emotional commitment once associated with music appreciation," said Dr Adrian North, who led the two-week study - one of dozens into the "psychology of music" carried out by his team at the school of psychology. It suggests we are becoming more passive than ever when it comes to tunes - because so much is available.

The team monitored 346 people to see how they related to music: they were sent a text daily, asking them to describe any music they could hear, or had heard since the previous message. It revealed that people are listening to a lot of music, most frequently on their own, and at home in the evening.

A key difference compared to previous generations is that mass media has made music much more accessible, removing its aura of selectivity. To the MP3 generation, music is a commodity - produced, distributed and consumed just like any other.

Dr North said: "In the 19th century, music was seen as a highly valued treasure with fundamental and near-mystical powers of human communication." But nowadays, "the degree of accessibility and choice has arguably led to a rather passive attitude towards music heard in everyday life".

On the other hand, if people are starting to view music as being less special than they did in the 19th century, could that be because back then they had Beethoven, Wagner and Brahms and in 2006 we've got James Blunt, the Gallaghers and Daniel Powter?