Affective Memories of Music In Online Heritage Practice

Long, Paul and Collins, J. (2016) Affective Memories of Music In Online Heritage Practice. In: Memory, Space, Sound. Studies on Popular Culture . Intellect, Bristol, UK, pp. 85-101. ISBN 978-1-78320-602-5

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Online practices of musical memory making have proliferated across social media, whether in bespoke blogs, web pages, forums or Facebook groups.

In the first part of this paper, we reflect on the manner in which online communities construct memories in such digital non-spaces albeit in and around references to geographically and temporally specific sites of music culture: the CBGB venue of New York, Mabuhay Gardens of San Francisco’s punk scene, Manchester of the 80s, Liverpool of the 60s and so on. We argue how the communities that have formed online and the architecture that enables them can be considered as ‘cultural frames for recollection’ that ‘do not simply invoke but actually help construct collective memory’ (van Dijck, 2006: 358).

Elaborating upon our recent work that explores this architecture of online memory and the contexts of popular music culture, we extend our ideas to explore the role of music itself in such sites. We consider how and where musical texts are present but more often absent from such sites and otherwise evoked in discussion as well as in narratives of cultures of music consumption anchored by the posting of ephemera around which are concentrated complex and sentimental values. Central is an exploration of how music, its experience, form and meaning, is evoked in order to understand the role of sounds and lyrics in memory making and its display. We argue how these aspects sometimes escape the ability of communities to fully articulate meaning in any formal sense.

Informing this exploration is the idea of affect and the capturing of the emotive, material and physical role of music in memory. The practices we explore raise questions about the nature of memory, the music archive, of history and the heritage recorded in such sites. We argue that, alongside the collection and sharing of music and of associated artifacts, the archive is manifest in the nature of such collective memories forged in online interactions which involves an ongoing negotiating and working through of the significance of venues, individuals, bands moments, and of course – the music itself – in personal and shared pasts and which takes on particular shapes that evoke the everyday discourse of popular music culture and consumption.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: $ Jez Collins
Date Deposited: 22 Jun 2017 08:14
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:17

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