Reciprocity and music

The nature of reciprocity fundamentally changes in mediated presence. When, for example, mediating music, the nature of the interaction between a performer and a listener changes profoundly in mediated formats. The primary quality of the real singer and the real listener is the reciprocity between them. This fundamentally changes when it is mediated.

Music can be recorded and be listened to at any time and any place. The relation to the voice of the performer has changed. The voice that could only be heard before at a special occasion is set free from the boundaries of time and place. As a result of this, the interaction between the performer and the listener changes profoundly. The site of performance changes, the relation between the voice and the ear, the relationship between the place from where the voice is coming and the place where the voice is heard change. When replaying the music, the experience has become anonymous both ways: for the listener, because there is a voice but no face, and for the singer, because there is no presence of the audience with whom to interact. Nevertheless, when listening to music that is replayed by a CD for example, the listener attributes different qualities to the music to which she listens. These are not based on a real-life interaction with the singer but are sensorial. The replayed music has the potential to influence the listener: behaviour, mood, sense of calm, imagination and more. The listener creates a mental map of the replayed music, and this is also influenced by other information (interview Parthasarathi 2008).