Over the years, digital media has played a key role in shaping the music industry around the world. It has changed how people create and consume music. Composers now can produce film scores from their home studios, and songwriters can record albums and release them on digital distribution and streaming platforms. Musicians can easily play for their fans around the world through live-streamed performances. Social media and video streaming services enable artists to connect with fans directly, reducing the need for expensive PR campaigns. In general, the digital media has led to a democratization of the music industry, improving opportunities for both artists and listeners. Although 'music' has been a subject of academic study in many parts of the world, it has been neglected as the topic of study for many years in the anthropological research. The UCL publication "Music and Digital Media" shows how and why this should be redressed. Edited by Dr. Georgina Born (Professor of Anthropology and Music at University College London and a Global Scholar at Princeton University), the book is the first comparative study of the impact of digital media on music worldwide. Offering a radical and lucid new theoretical framework for understanding digital media through music, this volume shows that music is today where the promises and problems of the digital assume clamoring audibility. By positioning 'music' as an expansive subject for digital anthropology, Professor Georgina Born and her colleagues demonstrate how the field can build interdisciplinary links to music and sound studies, digital media studies, and science and technology studies.

The book contains ten chapters, eight of which present comprehensive original ethnographies contributed by 8 scholars; they are bookended by an authoritative introduction and a comparative postlude. Five chapters address pop, folk, art and crossover musical genres throughout Kenya, Argentina, India, Canada, and the UK. A further three chapters engage experimentally with the platforms of music-making and distribution, presenting pioneering ethnographies of an extra-legal peer-to-peer site and the streaming platform Spotify, a series of prominent internet-mediated music genres, and the first ethnography of a global software package, the interactive music platform Max MSP.

The book begins with the chapter 'Introduction: Music, digitization and mediation - for a planetary anthropology', authored by the editor Professor Georgina Born. She draws our attention towards a very crucial question: "How should we understand the momentous changes to music and musical practices worldwide attendant on digitisation and digital media?" Certainly, the author observes, music is at the forefront of the turbulent changes to the production, distribution and reception of culture galvanised by digitisation, something of 'a testing ground for technological change'.

In chapter -2 entitled 'Soundtracks in the silicon savannah: digital production, aesthetic entrepreneurship and the new recording industry in Nairobi, Kenya', Andrew J. Eisenberg (Assistant Professor of Music at New York University, Abu Dhabi) gives a vivid account of the emergence of a 'born-digital' popular music recording industry in Nairobi from the early 2000s. Dr. Eisenberg sets this within an analysis of the history of the Kenyan recording industry since the 1970s and a series of synergistic developments that fed the new industry: the arrival from the late 1990s in Nairobi's recording studios of high-quality digital music production technologies; the mobile telecommunication companies' rising investment in music industry; and the liberalisation of the mediascape following the ending of Kenya's state broadcasting monopoly.

The next chapter entitled 'In the waiting room digitisation and post-neoliberalism in Buenos Aires' independent music sector', authored by Professor Geoff Baker (Royal Holloway, University of London) analyses the very different circumstances of Argentinian digital popular music. In the 2000s, he observes, after the arrival of digital production technologies, Buenos Aires became a Latin American hub for styles mixing local genres with electronic dance music.

In chapter - 4, 'Oral traditions in the aural public sphere', Dr. Aditi Deo (Ahmedabad University) offers somewhat different perspectives on music and digitisation in the South. She charts diverse projects in North India stimulated by a discourse of 'digital heritage' engaged in the digital archiving of folk musics. Deo observes that the increasing availability of digital technologies was causal in stimulating these projects; equally important was funding by transnational development agencies like the Ford Foundation.

The next two chapters of the book open a new seam, moving ethnographically 'inside' digital music technologies and platforms. In 'Online music consumption and the formalisation of informality' (Chapter - 5), Dr. Blake Durham and Prof. Georgina Born pursue the digital music archive online. They compare two 'North'-based services for the circulation and consumption of music: the commercial streaming platform Spotify, and an extralegal peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing site, Jekyll, supporting a vast participant-assembled archive of music in high-quality digital formats.

Chapter- 6, 'Max, music software and the mutual mediation of aesthetics and digital technologies', by Dr. Joe Snape and Prof. Georgina Born, presents an analysis of the global music programming environment Max, used by musicians and taught in higher education settings around the world.

Chapter-7, 'Remediating modernism: on the digital ends of Montreal's electro-acoustic tradition' by Dr. Patrick Valiquet, pushes this book in a new direction: towards the labile situation of digital art music in the global North. Within a rich analysis of the Canadian city's cultural politics, the chapter probes the challenges ostensibly posed by the digital to the hegemony of Montreal's academic acousmatic music tradition. The author highlights Montreal as a beacon of cultural production in post-industrial North America.

The next chapter entitled 'The dynamics of pluralism in contemporary digital art music', authored by Prof. Georgina Born, complements Valiquet's. Based on the fieldwork in Britain's leading academic electro-acoustic music centres in Belfast, Leicester and Huddersfield along with their national and international networks, it also probes the waning hegemony of academic acousmatic music, but attends more to exit routes: the burgeoning of an array of new idioms.

Chapter-9, 'Music and intermediality after the internet: aesthetics, materialities and social forms', by Christopher Haworth (University of Birmingham) and Dr. Georgina Born, pursues more spectacularly through online practices this volume's concern with their interlocutors' reflexive creative interventions in time and history. To research how the internet as a creative medium is changing the way music is made and experienced. The authors analyses the online lives of five internet-mediated genres that arose from the late 1990s on: microsound, hauntology, hypnagogic pop (h-pop), chillwave and vaporwave -underground genres that baffle any boundary between art and pop. The findings indicate how the internet multiplies, intensifies and remixes music's mediatic, discursive and social mediations. Intermediality, it emerges, is music's online condition. The book concludes with the 'Postlude: Musical-anthropological comparativism - across scales' by Prof. Georgina Born. "What insights are produced by comparison, and what lines of connection does it conjure up between the ethnographies?"

In this final chapter, she pursues these vital questions, moving conceptually across the ethnographies as though across a series of luminous gems with multiple facets, each refracting light differently, identifying singularities and commonalities, imitations and interferences.

The writer is an independent researcher. E-mail: smrayhanulislam@hotmail.com

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