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‘O Lord, open thou our lips’: listeners’ experiences of BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong on The New Radio 3 Forum

Clarke, Martin V. (2019). ‘O Lord, open thou our lips’: listeners’ experiences of BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong on The New Radio 3 Forum. In: Barlow, Helen and Rowland, David eds. The Experience of Listening to Music: Methodologies, Identities, Histories. Milton Keynes: The Open University.

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This chapter examines the listening experiences shared by contributors to The New Radio 3 Forum on threads related to BBC Radio 3’s Choral Evensong. Focusing on the musical, liturgical, and spiritual content of the experiences, it argues that they represent a community of highly engaged, committed, experienced, and knowledgeable listeners. It also demonstrates that engagement with the forum is a key part of the extended listening experience for regular contributors. While listeners demonstrate a variety of musical preferences and attitudes towards religious matters, their loyalty to Choral Evensong is shown to override such differences, enabling them to engage in informed and opinionated debate. The chapter draws on studies of communication patterns and engagement in online special-interest groups, the internet’s shaping of musical fandom, and the nature of online Christian communities to argue that the committed listening community that has developed on the forum and the detailed and discursive nature of its interactions exist in a symbiotic and self-sustaining relationship. The richness of the listening experiences both generates the strong sense of community and is enabled and perpetuated by it.

Item Type: Book Section
Copyright Holders: 2019 The Open University
ISBN: 1-4730-2864-7, 978-1-4730-2864-7
Project Funding Details:
Funded Project NameProject IDFunding Body
Not SetAH/J013986/1Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC),
Extra Information: The essays in this peer-reviewed collection started life as papers at a conference organised in 2018 by the Listening Experience Database (LED) project team, hosted by the Music Department and Knowledge Media Institute (KMI) at The Open University, and run in collaboration with members of staff at the Royal College of Music and Glasgow University.
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities > Music
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) > Arts and Humanities
Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
Item ID: 66674
Depositing User: Martin Clarke
Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2019 08:32
Last Modified: 11 Jun 2020 15:59
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