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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 8, 2018

Online music recommendation platforms as representations of ontologies of musical taste

  • Benjamin Krämer EMAIL logo
From the journal Communications


The framework of the ‘social ontology of the internet’ is applied to music recommendation platforms. Those websites provide individual suggestions of music to users, creating new dynamics of taste that are no longer based on human-to-human interaction and verbalized judgments. An exemplary analysis of three platforms shows that different conceptions of musical tastes are represented by technical systems: situational emotional preferences, a formalist aesthetics, and social proximity based on tastes. The platforms share certain assumptions about the ontology of musical entities and of course the constitutive act of recommending. We discuss how this act can be ascribed to technical systems. Theses on the platforms’ effects on the social structure of musical tastes are developed.

Published Online: 2018-3-8
Published in Print: 2018-6-26

©2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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