Remote Music Interactions

With the proliferation of social networking (or 'Web 2.0') applications there has been an associated rise in the availability of instructional material (Wired, 2008). This is especially case for 'how to' music lessons made freely available on YouTube,, and other such Web 2.0 sites. Of the top 20 podcasts offered by iTunes, six are iVideosongs tutorials (Wired, 2008). These new instructional forms have attracted millions of web users, but to date there has been no formal empirical evaluation to analyse and inform their effectiveness as tools for learning and development of music and musical expertise.

This project aims to develop a conceptual framework for understanding new types of musical interactions that are happening in Web 2.0 music with a special focus on learning and development. The research investigates the benefits and limits of remote musical interactions (RMI) over digital networks in three broad fields of practice:

  • professional: rehearsals, tests, and auditions.
  • formal instruction: mentor-student interactions.
  • amateur enthusiast: peer-to-peer networked interactions (P2P).

The two central questions to be answered are:

  • How do web 2.0 technologies facilitate or impede musical interactions?
  • What aspects of productive musical interaction are unique to online versus offline contexts?