Illustration by Joshua Armitage
It probably won’t come as news to you that the digitisation of music and its migration on to the Internet has been one of the biggest challenges to the traditional music industry—and indeed to music-making in general—in a long time. The paradigm shift is quite possibly the most significant to have faced music since the invention of recorded music itself over a century ago, and together with the personal computer it smashes the familiar hierarchies and materialities of musical production at practically every level. And in the same way that the unique compositional possibilities of recording technology itself were only widely accessible and explored in the last quarter of the twentieth century (electronic music, prog rock, dub, disco, hip hop, EDM, electronica), it may be decades before the uniqueness of tomorrow’s online music-making landscape is really found and put to use.
Tip of the hat to author and academic Adam Harper for putting together a nice feature about the landscape of online music for Dummy Magazine, which you can read in its entirety here. Harper's latest book, Infinite Music: Imagining the Next Millennium of Human Music-Making is available through Zero.