Thesis Info

Thesis Title
The Music One Participates In: Analysis of participatory musical practice at the beginning of 21st century
Kazuhiro Jo
2nd Author
3rd Author
Number of Pages
Kyushu University
Thesis Supervisor
Shigenobu Nakamura
Supervisor e-mail
Other Supervisor(s)
Akihiro Kubota, Kiyoshi Tomimatsu, Masato Yako
Language(s) of Thesis
Department / Discipline
Languages Familiar to Author
English, Japanese
URL where full thesis can be found
music, participation, performance, workshop, reproduction, personal fabrication
Abstract: 200-500 words
The objective of the dissertation is to depict the emergent form of music in the 21st century through the analysis of own practices.<br><br>Chapter 1 discusses a notion of "the music one participates inî where people subjectively engage with sound representations through listening and simultaneously engage with the creation of sound. The chapter situates three following challenges for acts of creation on participatory musical practice by taking references from discourses of Read/Write culture [Lessig, 2008], the era of composition [Attali, 1977], musicking [Small, 1998], the music one listens to and the music one plays [Barthes, 1970], and Roku-gaku [Miwa, 2008]. <br><br>1. Blurring the boundary between the performer and the listener in a performance.<br>2. Extending the notion of musical participation through creative do-it-yourself workshop.<br>3. Re-examining the role of reproduction under a current technological environment.<br><br>Chapter 2 outlines diverse discourses of participation ranging from social science and cognitive science through human computer interaction and Do-It-Yourself (DIY) to contemporary art. The dissertation regards that the role and the dynamics of participation are the fundamental pieces of "the music one participates inî by which a musical practice is built and examined. The idea of the ladder of participation [Arnstein, 1969] [Hart, 1982], the community of practice [Lave and Wenger, 1991], Big/small creativity [Boden, 1991], the theory of flow [Csikszentmihalyi, 1997], and suspicions in participation [Bishop, 2012][Foster, 2004] are adapted for musical practice to examine the role and the dynamics of participation.<br><br>Chapter 3 situates the practice of The SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA (SWO) [Jo, Furudate, Ishida, Noguchi, 2008] to adopt the first challenge. In the practice, the boundary between the performer and the listener is blurred through abolishment of the central authority (i.e. a stage and a conductor). Although all SWO works use the same sound representation (i.e., sine waves), each SWO work uses a different instrument with a variety of temporal, physical, environmental, and procedural settings. The differences have resulted in diverse types of musical experiences of the participants. Based on a distinction between tools and instruments, and reference to existing musical practices, this chapter reports case studies of nine of The SINE WAVE ORCHESTRA works to explore the difference with detailed investigation of elements of each instrument. Following the exploration, the chapter considers the diversity of performance by examining their three styles of musical participation of the participants with reviews of the works by critics. Such examination allows us to focus on what aspect of the work affects the difference in how people participate and engage in a participatory musical practice.<br><br>Chapter 4 examines the second challenge by taking examples from the practice of Chiptune Marching Band [Jo, Allen, Galani, 2009], Generative Music Workshop [Kaneko, Jo, 2010], and others [Jo, Parkinson, Tanaka, 2013]. The chapter looks at the range of different methods that make up the term, workshop, as well as emergent relationships between facilitator and participant in creative Do-It-Yourself activities to frame the discussion of participatory music practice.<br><br>Chapter 5 faces the third challenge by situating the practice of a record without (or with) prior acoustic information [Jo, 2014a] as its instance. In contrast with the previous recording technologies, the proposed method enable people to produce personal music with the lack of original sounds. The chapter examines its technical specification as well as its aesthetic consequences by situating the practice in a historical context.<br><br>Chapter 6 concludes the dissertation by presenting a consequence of the analysis of the own practices to depict the emergent form of music, "the music one participates inî. The consequence reveals the nature of each challenge which the dissertation situates in the beginning, as well as points out the potential of each practice as a base to consider the meaning of performance, workshop, and reproduction in musical practice at the beginning of the 21st century. Discussion with extensive social conditions should be conducted in the future work.