An essay written by Nikil Saval for n+1 regarding the change in the way music is consumed due to the evolving technological and marketable space for music creation and consumption.

 A hierarchical social world has managed to absorb the omnipresence of music pretty effortlessly. You can see this in the violent intragenre squabbling that animates indie rock circles, and in the savage takedowns of avant-garde opera performances in art-music magazines.


If recording and mechanical reproduction opened up the world of musical pluralism—of listening to other people’s music until you and they became other people yourselves—digital reproduction expanded that pluralism to the point where it reversed itself. You have all the world’s music on your iPod, in your earphones. Now it’s “other people’s music”—which should be very exciting to encounter—as played in cafes and stores that is the problem. In any public setting, it acquires a coercive aspect. The iPod is the thing you have to buy in order not to be defenseless against the increasingly sucky music played to make you buy things.

Along the same lines regarding the individual consumption of music is this short piece by Ryan Holiday about the tendency to derive meaning from experience due to the consumption of music while the experience takes place.

God forbid you should ever have one with you when you’re running and it begins to rain. If you don’t have a shirt on, it’s over. Out of the corner of your eye, you’ll swear that trees are bowing as you pass.

Live music shared with other people.  That’s where it’s at, no?