Kiri Miller

in Playing Along

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199753451
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199932979 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Music/Media Series


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  • American Music
  • Ethnomusicology


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The conclusion argues that when real-time and in-person interaction are optional rather than essential, communities of practice can extend across time, space, and some cultural and technological boundaries. These mediated practices offer expanded access: both more people and more kinds of people can play along with the games, performance genres, and repertoires circulated via interactive digital media. These practices also require accepting some structural constraints and embracing the productive potential of repetition. In this way players can frame a secure space for exploring new modes of experience. In the case studies presented here, playing along has yielded in-between experiences that destabilize conventional distinctions—including those dividing the avatar’s body and the player’s; listening and musicianship; production and reception; student and teacher; amateur and expert; conformity and creativity; compliance and resistance; immersion and detachment; the virtual and the actual.

Keywords: interactive; digital media; community; practice; production; reception; amateur; repetition; play; repertoire

Chapter.  2730 words. 

Subjects: American Music ; Ethnomusicology

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