The Value of Music on TikTok and New Musical Practices

Marc Chemillier et Yohann Rabearivelo, « Valeur de la musique sur TikTok et nouvelles pratiques musicales », Volume !, 20 : 1 | 2023, 107-121.

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Abstract: With a powerful algorithm and creative features available to its users, TikTok is a platform for publishing short audiovisual content that has made a name for itself among musicians. The music industry seems to have taken into account the role of essential economic and media player that the Chinese company now represents at the international level. At the same time, musicians have been able to discover new online musical practices encouraged by audiovisual creation tools such as TikTok’s duo function. Based on more than thirty responses to a questionnaire proposed in an online survey as well as on interviews conducted with influential TikTok musicians, this article questions the different aspects that the value of music can take in this context from an economic and aesthetic point of view, and introduces the notion of confrontational value to characterize the stimulation that musicians find with their peers on TikTok. The place of improvisation constitutes a privileged angle of our study because it is integrated in a research project on the development of a software for musical improvisation. We were led to take an interest in the reactions of TikTok musicians to the software’s improvisations by reflecting on the role of the witness audience in the improvisation, in which the knowledgeable musicians, through their reactions, give the music this confrontational value.

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