Archive for April, 2012

Hippest & Coolest Cities: Atlanta & Oslo?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Research Diagram
Source: Conrad Lee and Pádraig Cunningham, “The Geographic Flow of Music“

Where are the trend setters in music?

As featured in the KadmusArts Daily Global Culture News, two researchers at the Clique Research Cluster in Dublin have been studying the “geographic flow” of music. With data from 2003 through 2011, Pádraig Cunningham, Professor at the University College Dublin and Conrad Lee, Ph.D. student at the UCD, tracked the most listened to artists by location and analyzed how those rankings shifted across 200 cities. Their research focused on users’ scrobbling on Last.fm to create a model that demonstrates which city’s listening habits are most influential.

Surprisingly, the research shows the results are less about a city’s size than it is about the inhabitants’ taste to identify what will become globally hip.

Their paper, The Geographic Flow of Music, submitted to the Physics arXiv online scientific forum, has Atlanta in the North American lead and Oslo in the European lead.

According to the researchers,

“After suitably normalizing this data, we use it to test three hypotheses related to the geographic flow of music. The first is that although many of the most popular artists are listened to around the world, music preferences are closely related to nationality, language, and geographic location. We find support for this hypothesis, with a couple of minor, yet interesting, exceptions. Our second hypothesis is that some cities are consistently early adopters of new music (and early to snub stale music). To test this hypothesis, we adapt a method previously used to detect the leadership networks present in flocks of birds. We find empirical support for the claim that a similar leadership network exists among cities, and this finding is the main contribution of the paper. Finally, we test the hypothesis that large cities tend to be ahead of smaller cities-we find only weak support for this hypothesis.”

In other words, the chances are that what’s playing most in Atlanta and Oslo will be playing near you. If you want to get ahead of the curve on what’s gong to be the most shared, check-out your friends’ playlists in these two cities. In addition, noticing the trends in festivals and club scenes, there’s no doubt that the growth of live events in these cities has helped spur the depth, breadth, and reach of the music industry.

That’s a pretty cool use of statistical analysis, online networking, and the soundtrack of our lives.

- Bill Reichblum

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace

A Classy Revolution

Monday, April 9th, 2012

Classical Revolution - Mattie Kaiser

Original Photo by Mollusa — Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved

Do you like to hang out with the band? Now a music network has made it easy — for classical music.

After thousands of years, it was not until the 20th century that recordings created such a strong separation between the creative musician and a receptive audience. In most music genres, especially rock and hip-hop, recorded music has driven an increase in the live performance business, especially at festivals. However, classical music is the one area which has lost live audiences. Now, a new generation of entrepreneurial players and producers is changing that.

The Classical Revolution started in a San Francisco Mission District bar as a regular Monday night event. The idea was simple: if audiences aren’t coming to the concert hall, bring the music to where they are gathering. The group organizes evenings of music as festive, relaxed, and social as a bar.

Classical Revolution’s start has become a trend. The CR network now has chapters in North America and Europe. Along with similar groups, such as New MUSE (New Music Everywhere), CR combines the kind of musical intimacy of the 17th century’s approach to secular music played in private homes (“chamber music”) with our expectation of the best kind of jazz club.

Classical Revolution’s first international gathering is coming up at the end of the month. As founder Joshua Feltman told The Economist, the push is to make “listeners feel involved in the experience.”

The goal is to create a new fan base by moving out of the high art and high expense concert halls and connecting directly with audiences. Who ever thought classical music could be so much fun? Amazing what can happen when you mix talent and fans in a social setting.

If an art form ever needed a revolution, it’s classical music. The music is too good, too powerful, and the talent too amazing to be preserved in our concert halls.

Go grab a friend, buy a drink, and re-discover why this old art form has a present tense impact.

- Bill Reichblum

Share and Enjoy:
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • del.icio.us
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • LinkedIn
  • MySpace