The Music Diary Project

I have a memory of having written an article for Stylus many moons ago, back in the site’s early days of 2002 or 2003, which detailed everything I listened to in the space of a week. Sadly the Stylus archive has just migrated to a new server, and accessing all the old content is proving tricky. Google has saved me for numerous of the things I’ve linked to from recent posts here, but despite several attempts I can’t find this particular piece. I remember listening to Elvis Costello as I drove to play 5-a-side football.

I have been pondering doing this again. But with a difference.

One of the things that interests me most about music is its utility; how we use it. What is it for. How do we access it. As music writers the listening process can become, I fear, pretty artificial at points when compared with how “normal people” consume music, and I think that in order to write about music one must, occasionally, touch-base with normal methods of consumption. Or at least be aware that listening to 20 new records a week and passing judgement on all of them to some degree may influence the outcomes of those judgements and thus the relevance of those judgement to people who maybe buy acquire one new record a week.

I’m in a strange hinterland between being a music writer and a regular fan, and the differences in behaviour intrigue me. One set, to an extent, relies on another for recommendations, when the two sets are very different and the dissonance this may cause could mean that those recommendations are unreliable. But that’s only one tiny aspect.

So I’d like to get a load of people, music writers and non-music writers, but all music lovers, to chronicle not just what they listen to in a given week but how, where, why, and with whom they listen to it. In the name of research.

I’m going to suggest the first full week of April (Monday 4th to Sunday 10th) for this little social experiment, and I want you to join in. If you’re a music fan, writer, lover, maker, or whatever, and you keep a blog or website of any kind, join in. For a full week make a note of everything you listen to, and any contextual details you care to add to it, and throw it up online. You might want stick something on Tumblr every time you listen to something, or you might save up and write a massive missive at the end of the week. You might list every single song in detail, or merely impart in passing that you spent an hour with a dubstep playlist. Just tell us about it.

I intend to do this, and to get as many other people doing it as possible, and I’ll tag all my resultant blog posts with “musicdiaryproject”. If you did the same, that would be awesome.

Who’s in?

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31 responses to “The Music Diary Project

  1. Sounds fun. I’m in.

  2. Pingback: Music makes my food… the food of ….content | These Violent Delights

  3. Definitely! Great idea 🙂

  4. i’m in

  5. OK, I’ll do it on twitter using the hashtag musicdiaryproject – US wifi permitting. It may turn out to be a bit of a list at odd moments.

  6. I just saw this linked on someone’s tumblr and love this idea. I’m in.

  7. The original article by Nick:

    http://www.stylusmagazine.com/articles/weekly_article/a-week-in-the-musical-life1.htm

    I’m in, here’s hoping I remember. Also I’m at blogspot, so I might not come up on a search or whatever.

  8. Like an annotated last fm list? I’ll do it….

  9. Hey! Great idea, I’m in.

  10. I’ll give it a go, but I will need reminders and poking probably. Just kick me occasionally.

  11. I’ll need reminding nearer the time, but in principle I’m in.

  12. I’ll try to be in, but suspect I’ll forget.

  13. This is aces, I would love to get involved

  14. Just saw this on Tom Ewing’s Twitter – I’m in Nick. (And hope you’re well.)

  15. I’m in! This sounds brilliant.

  16. I’ll try and give it a go. Maybe Ian will remind me when it’s time.

  17. I’m in! But I agree, a reminder would be helpful.

  18. I’d happily give this a go – sounds fascinating!

  19. Sure, sounds fun

  20. yeah why not. It’s pretty easy to log it all with last.fm these days anyway.

  21. Just read this – nice idea. I’m game!

  22. Just realised we are in Skye for this week, but I will endeavor to keep a record….I presume we will take some form of music with us.

  23. Pingback: Coming Soon: The Music Diary Project « BrittPop.com

  24. Definitely a cool experiment. Should be fun.

  25. Pingback: Music Diary Project — insomnius.org

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