'Early Music' on Social Media. Research Questions and Perspectives

Annkatrin Babbe (Sophie Drinker Institut Bremen)

In recent decades, the dramatic increase of social media use has brought about a fundamental change in global media culture, including music culture (see Ruth 2019, 225): With the new possibilities of performative digital practices and interventions, both the consumption of music and the way in which music is presented have changed profoundly (Dewan/Ramaprasad 2014; Barad 2003; Leeker et al. 2017). Music is presented in an ever-increasing range, from live concerts to rehearsals, coming from classrooms as well as private apartments, and it also encompasses elaborately produced music videos. Adequate descriptions of the changing musical and music-cultural practices in the digital environment of social media have, at the same time, yet to materialize, especially with regard to (European) art music.
This talk will offer an overview of the staging of 'early music' on social media, which in its historicity, initially raises a contrast to the digitized environment. It discusses approaches, and formulates questions for a research field that has yet to be examined. The topic will be approached from an primarily  actor-centered perspective. In addition to the analysis of various performances, the focus will be on cultural and identity-political orientation as well as power structures that the staging of 'early music’ entails.


Dr. des. Annkatrin Babbe is a postdoctoral researcher at the Sophie Drinker Institut Bremen. She studied Music and German (M.Ed.) as well as Musicology (M.A.) at the Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg. In 2022 she finished her PhD with a thesis about the violin education at the Conservatory in Vienna (Hollitzer Verlag, upcoming). Since 2013 she is research assistant at the Sophie Drinker Institute Bremen and works as a music journalist. Her research interests include musical education in the 19th century, as well as historical musicological gender studies, especially women orchestras/bands, female conductors, and the work of Clara Schumann.