What influences the audience's experience with music?

Motivating a new audience

What kind of factors motivate people when they choose what to listen to, and what influences their willingness to seek out unknown musical territories? How do our potential audiences experience music?

 Neuroscientists believe that responses to music are partly inbuilt and partly learned – but learned very early in life. We tend to like music that is familiar but not too familiar and strikes a balance between simplicity and complexity. So, people need to be exposed to music in order to develop music comprehension skills. But how can we persuade potential audiences to give our music a go?

Research shows that people listen to music as a way of marking their social identity and for achieving an emotional boost. This means that reaching the inexperienced, emotional listeners requires publicity material with vivid verbal imagery to evoke emotional response.

When it comes to music as a marker of social identity, we all seem to juggle various identities. We make these identities believable to ourselves and other people through consumption – including the music we listen to. Social groups and relations are often formed around musical tastes, and members of a group influence each other.

In the NewAud project the ensembles have discussed how we need to rely much less on labelling musical genres. Instead our descriptions of a concert should convey how the music will make the potential audience feel and create an image of the whole experience.