Music at Mars Hill: The Joys of Community Music Listening

I’ve been interning at PasteMagazine.com for a couple weeks now down in Decatur, GA and one thing I’ve been turned on to is the wonders of community listening via turntable.fm. For so long, community listening was such a vital part of the music-listening experience. Whether it was sitting around a group of performers, the radio, or a record player, technology and the idea of experiencing music in the context of community have always had an interesting mutual relationship.

For so long, technology was making music louder, more expansive, and more available to more people. However, in the last ten years or so the popularity of Walkmen, iPods, and the internet have created an individualistic and incredibly personal culture of music. More people were listening to music on their own, establishing these personal and deeply emotional connections to the music, but also leaving the idea of community behind.

While the music culture of today is still focused on the individual, sites like Turntable.fm and Last.fm are attempting to bring the excitement of community listening back into our culture. With the ability to share, comment on, and listen to music together, the social and communal aspects of music that have always been present in the past are once again a part of our culture now.

So I encourage you: get on turntable, start DJing, and make some friends. It’ll be good for you.

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