From Proceedings National Council of Tertiary Music Schools Conference 2007. Music in Australian Tertiary Institutions: Issues for the 21st Century, Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Copyright 2007 Julian D. Knowles.

The full article is available at QUT.1

Over the past five years, we have seen the emergence of a new kind of website, built and populated with content in a collaborative fashion by its users, who are able to upload, tag, classify and comment content, which is subsequently submitted to a searchable online database. Such sites span the fields of music and visual media, and encompass outcomes as diverse as social networking sites, personalised Internet radio stations and encyclopaedias. Those closely involved in Internet communities have used the term ‘Web 2.0’ (O’Reilly, 2005) to distinguish such sites from traditional websites which are ‘read-only’ from a user perspective and have identified a trend towards a design principle based on the architecture of participation (O’Reilly, 2004) and a harnessing of the intellectual resources and creative outputs of the user base. These developments have not only transformed the user experience of the web, but have provided a significant vehicle for artists to find and grow global audiences outside traditional distribution channels. This has facilitated the growth of the ‘long tail’ music market (Anderson, 2006). This paper provides a survey of some significant recent trends relevant to music practice, and identifies some key questions and challenges that arise in music teaching, learning and research contexts.


  1. Anderson, C. (2006). The Long Tail. London: Random House.
  2. O’Reilly, T. (2004) . Open Source Paradigm Shift. Retrieved June 1, 2007, from
  3. O’Reilly, T. (2005). What Is Web 2.0. Retrieved April 28, 2007.


Prof Julian Knowles. Submitted 7 April 2008



Professor Julian Knowles, Creative Industries Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane

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