Carnegie Mellon University
Spring 2013

Spring 2013 Course

76-352 Interdisciplinary Studies in Listening, Culture, and Technology

Wed 12:00pm to 2:50m CFA Room 111

The proliferation of portable as well as computerized audio technologies has radically changed the way the human beings listen, consume, and produce music and sound. With the emergence of "cloud" storage services like Dropbox, Amazon, and Google you can effortlessly store and share music files anonymously or with friends. Services like Facebook, Pandora, Spotify,, Amazon, and iTunes use finely tuned algorithms to make musical recommendations and in the process further personalize your experience as a consumer of music. All of these services, many of which are virtual, have come to mediate our intensely personal and communal experiences with music. The Listening Spaces seminar seeks to understand the overwhelming impact these mediating technologies have had on our social, political and personal interactions with music. Foundational readings will include Jonathan Sterne's MP3: The History of a Format, Alexander Galloway's Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture, Trebor Scholz's Digital Labor: The Internet as Playground and Factory. The seminar will be focused around developing and completing critical projects that cross technological and humanistic boundaries.