Music To My Ears: Exploring the Potential of Podcasts to Make Classical Music More Accessible
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The image of classical music as inaccessible is a widely debated issue among professionals and academics. When it comes to attracting new audiences, making the classical music genre and its cultural context more accessible to a broader audience is often an important goal for performing and presenting organizations. Recently, the medium of the podcast has seen an increase in popularity, and is used by more and more traditional cultural institutions to reach both existing and new audiences. How podcasting can be used as a platform for engagement with classical music has not yet been addressed from an academic perspective. This thesis fills that gap by exploring to what extent the podcast is a suitable medium to make classical music more accessible. It presents a comparative case study of two classical music podcasts, 'Beethoven is meer dan een hond' and 'The Open Ears Project,' whose communicative approach is examined using Critical Discourse Analysis. I argue that the podcast is a suitable medium to make classical music more accessible because it has the potential to create an immersive and highly connective listening experience which makes it easier for people to feel less intimidated by knowledge-related and socio-cultural obstacles associated with classical music. However, that intimate listening experience is something that can exploited more and less effectively, depending as much on the internal characteristics of the podcast as an auditory medium, as on a podcast’s specific content.