Musicking in Cyberspace: Creating Music and Fostering Global Community through a Virtual Choir.
Abstract: This thesis serves as an exploration of collaborative music-making
and the emergence of community within cyberspace. Using Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir as
the basis of my inquiry, I examine the unique circumstances of participation in an
Internet-based choral ensemble and how such circumstances differ from those of an offline
choral ensemble. I highlight the experiences of individua... read morel participants, gathered through
recent ethnographic research, to demonstrate how a unique set of idealized relationships
are enacted through this collaborative project that transcends geographic and cultural
boundaries. I argue that these relationships serve as the foundation for a meaningful
community and enable participants to gain new understandings about themselves, others, and
the world. In this way, the Virtual Choir refutes common assertions that online experience
will replace offline experience and that the Internet is serving to isolate us from each
other and our worlds. This thesis contributes to the growing academic discourse on
open-source collaboration, digital culture, identity formation, and community in
cyberspace. These areas have gained prominence in recent years as the Internet and social
media have assumed an increasingly integral role in our everyday lives. The Virtual Choir
embodies the ideals of cyberspace--intercreativity, open access, and exchange across
cultures--and thus proposes a valuable model for collaboration and community in this
Thesis (M.A.)--Tufts University, 2012.
Submitted to the Dept. of Music.
Advisor: Jeffrey Summit.
Committee: David Locke, and Jospeh Auner.
Keywords: Music, and Web studies.read less