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.
Other Working Communities
The final report sums up the outcome of the NewAud project. It evaluates the results regarding audience development, the cooperation of the ensembles, as well as the ensembles' artistic development throughout the project.
This document contains the presentation slides from a talk by arts consultant Heather Maitland on how audiences engage with the arts across genres and art forms.
This document contains the presentation slides from a talk by arts consultant Heather Maitland on how to turn a concert into a social experience.
In this article arts consultant Heather Maitland describes how social context can be seen as key in potential audiences' approach to new music. She argues that we all juggle a series of identities evolving over time and depending on the situation. 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. Going to a concert together adds value to the relationships between members of the group. The article sums up the factors involved in a group's decisions about what concerts to attend, how they influence each other, and how we can help them persuade friends and family through our descriptions of the concerts.
In this article arts consultant Heather Maitland investigates how people listen to music as a way of marking their social identity and for achieving an emotional boost. She explores what this tells us about how to address a new audience most successfully. Heather divides listeners in two different groups: Analytical and emotional listeners. She points out, that reaching the inexperienced, emotional listeners requires publicity material with vivid verbal imagery to evoke emotional response.
In this article arts consultant Heather Maitland explores our musical preferences, addressing the challenge of attracting new audiences. Personality and demographic profile affect musical preferences, but not in a simple split between high culture against popular culture. Information with emotional and social relevance has more impact on potential audiences' interest in entering new musical territory than fact based musical knowledge. In conclusion Heather points out, that we should focus less on labelling musical genres and more on creating an image of the experience.
The Dutch ensemble Lunatree created a one hour non-stop performance where the pieces were connected by a soundscape, achieving a sense of “theatre for the ears”. The aim of the concert was to create an intimate setting for the audience and musicians to get together and enjoy previously unheard music. This case report describes the concept of the concert and sums up the do's and don'ts of the experiment, emphasizing the benefits of creating an informal atmosphere and mingling with the audience.
Athelas Sinfonietta focused on setting the scene for socialising, when they played a concert at a shared creative office space. Athelas aims at making concerts where videos, happenings and staging effects bind the music pieces together to one artistic event. In this case there was a new music video battle before the concert started, and free drinks afterwards. This document in brief describes the concept.