Amateur concert filming for YouTube: recalibrating the live music experience in an age of amateur reproduction

Colburn, Steven (2013) Amateur concert filming for YouTube: recalibrating the live music experience in an age of amateur reproduction. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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This thesis explores the recent phenomenon of music concert goers filming these concerts and uploading the footage to YouTube. This contemporary practice poses several questions of the nature of contemporary music culture. The status of the concert as live event is problematised by this mediation of the experience. The videos create producers of fans and allow these fans to make a substantive contribution to music culture as authors of music texts consumed through a major
distribution network. The fact that these fans are not paid for their efforts begs the question as to what they gain from this enterprise; particularly as it serves as a distraction for filmers from the immersive concert experience.

This thesis will use the work of Walter Benjamin on the ‘aura’ as a yardstick against which to judge current attitudes amongst music fans as to the status of live music alongside other ways of experiencing music. The thesis will also offer a contemporary reappraisal of Pierre Bourdieu’s
concept of ‘cultural capital’ that accounts for the recognition that filmers receive from other music fans for their efforts in filming concerts. Concerts are restricted spaces in which music is simultaneously produced and consumed. Broadcasting videos of these events on YouTube provides recognition for filmers both for having attended and managed to capture footage to be shared with those unable to attend for various reasons. Filmers are not paid for their efforts and so this recognition serves as a form of cultural capital in lieu of financial reward.

The thesis is based upon interviews with a global sample of music fans who either film concerts or watch these films on YouTube.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Arts and Humanities > Media and Film
Subjects: M Music. Literature on music. Musical instruction and study > ML Literature on music > ML3800 Philosophical and societal aspects of music. Physics and acoustics of music. Physiological aspects of music
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics > P0087 Communication. Mass media
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2013 12:51
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2022 15:50

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