The experience of listening to music: methodologies, identities, histories

6-7 March 2018, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

The Listening Experience Database Project Conference 2018*

“The experience of listening to music: methodologies, identities, histories”

6-7 March 2018, The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK

*Please note, registration is from 9:30am in Christodoulou Meeting Room 1. The conference will start at 10am and a revised timetable will be made available upon arrival.

Following on from our inaugural conference in 2015, the Listening Experience Database project team is pleased to announce that registration is open for the second project conference.

The Listening Experience Database (LED) Project is detecting evidence of personal experiences of listening to music, and gathering them in a database with the aim of establishing an evidential base for the exploration of the way music has impacted on people in the past.

The impact of music on individuals has been studied in different ways by psychologists, anthropologists, ethnomusicologists, social scientists, social and cultural historians and musicologists, and this conference aims to bring together several of these perspectives and methodologies.

Our keynote speakers are Professor Stephanie Pitts and Professor Dave Russell.

To register, please go to: Eventbrite

The early-bird registration fees are as follows:

The early-bird day rate is £25 (£20 concessions for students, unwaged, retired), to include tea/coffee and lunch.
The early-bird full conference rate is £45 (£40 concessions for students, unwaged, retired), to include tea/coffee and lunch.

After 31 January 2018, the registration fees will be increased to:

£30 full day rate, £25 reduced
£55 full conference rate, £45 reduced

The Tuesday evening conference meal is included in the fee – please email to request the vegetarian option, and with any other dietary requirements.

Please feel free to address any queries to the conference organisers, Helen Barlow and Simon Brown, at

If you require accommodation on the nights of 5 and/or 6 March, we have reserved a number of rooms at the Kents Hill Park Training and Conference Centre where we will also be holding the conference dinner. Kents Hill Park is a 15-minute walk from the OU, and just a couple of minutes by car.

The rate is £77 bed and breakfast per person per night.

To book, you will need to telephone Kents Hill Park +44(0)1908 358000, quoting code 99521. If you have any difficulties with this, email us at

Kents Hill Park will hold the reserved rooms for us until 3 February, after which they will be released for general booking.

Milton Keynes also has a large number of hotels, and these can be searched via the usual booking sites, so you shouldn’t have any difficulty finding accommodation. If you’re not coming by car, the closest is the Hilton Timbold Drive (roughly a 15-minute walk, and close to Kents Hill Park).


Day 1
06 Mar 2018
Day 2
07 Mar 2018
9:30 - 10:15



David Rowland

Session A1

Methodologies 1 An informed review on aural perspectives about African American Field Hollers Lorenzo Vanelli (University of Bologna)   Listening behaviours – discourses and experiences Nicolas Marty (Université Paris-Sorbonne)

Session B1

Social media #areyoulistening: using social media to collate people’s listening experiences Simon Brown (The Royal College of Music) Intentional listening and virtual community: listeners’ experiences of BBC Radio 3 Choral Evensong on...
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11:30 - 11:55


Session A2

Health and well-being ‘Listening to music is living’: An interview study on music listening, health and wellbeing in everyday life Joy Vamvakari (University of Edinburgh)   Listening to music with...
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Session B2

History 1 Progress and tradition: listening to Welsh musical practices in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries Helen Barlow (The Open University)   Contemplating the listening experience in nineteenth-century...
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13:30 - 14:25


Session A3

Audience experience Modern audience experiences of 19th-century historical programming Natasha Loges (The Royal College of Music)   The ‘ideal’ listener: self-deprecation and resistance amongst classical music audiences Sarah Price (University...
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Session B3

Places and identities Fang plaeng Thai: interpretation of Thainess in listening experience in Western-styled Thai contemporary music Sarupong Sutprasert (Thammasat University)   Street beat Henry Herman (Iowa State University)
15:30 - 15:55


Keynote 1

Live music and popular listening cultures, c.1850-c.1960 Professor Dave Russell
17:30 - 18:15

Drinks reception

Session A4

History 2 Musicking – conversing – writing: towards a cultural perspective on the listening sense in Britain in the 18th century Ina Knoth (Hamburg University)   What John Yeoman’s listening...
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Session B4

Methodologies 2 The Harkive Project: popular music, data, and digital technologies Craig Hamilton (Birmingham City University)   Listening in action: modeling digital music listening and simultaneous activities Rebecca Rinsema (Northern...
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11:00 - 11:25


Session A5

Practitioner listening The songwriter’s earworm Michael Martin (Iowa State University)   Unlocking the anxiety of musical influence: What performers’ discourses reveal about listening to recordings Georgia Volioti (University of Surrey)...
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Session B5

Methodologies 3 Beyond the concert hall: the musical experience in alternative concert situations Renée Vulto (Ghent University)   A performed ethnography of listening Huw Lloyd-Richards, Michael Downes and Bede Williams...
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12:30 - 13:30


Keynote 2

Understanding audiences: what are concert-goers doing when they listen? Professor Stephanie Pitts (University of Sheffield)
15:00 - 15:25


Closing remarks

David Rowland