Michelle Phillips; Amanda E Krause

Published On


Page Range

pp. 333–354


  • English

Print Length

22 pages

17. Audiences of the Future

How Can Streamed Music Performance Replicate the Live Music Experience?

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced audiences to new ways of engaging with artistic performance in an online environment (Rendell, 2020, terms this ‘pandemic media’). Multiple performers and organisations transferred live performances into a recorded or livestreamed format. However, at present, there is little research to support decisions that organisations may make in terms of how they do this, and what they deem to be important in how they record and / or stream. There is evidence to support the value of ‘liveness’ in music performance (Tsangaris, 2020), but what is this, and can it be replicated in online environment?

This chapter will outline existing research regarding concepts such as liveness in music performance. The study discussed in the chapter will also discuss research regarding the live music experience as a social one, and the vital role that sharing musical spaces plays in social bonding and group coherence. This study examines questions including what listeners perceive to be the main differences between live and livestreamed attendance at music performance, and what constitutes ‘liveness’ in such performances. Data analysis suggests that audiences may have different motivations to attend live versus livestreamed performances, with the former being associated with having fun and a good night out, and shared experience, and the latter often about using time in a meaningful way and the sound quality available in livestreamed attendance at an event. ‘Liveness’ involves not only such factors as the opportunity to share an experience and interact with other audience members and performers, but also the sense of atmosphere, immersion, sensory experiences, and being physically present. When asked about the advantages and disadvantages of attending a livestreamed performance, audience members cite factors common to both live and online experiences such as the logistics, and whether they are with other people or not. However, a thematic analysis also reveals differences in what people see as the advantages and disadvantages of attending online, such as the emotional response to a live performance, and considerations around accessibility and the impact on the environment for online experiences. There is an urgent need in the music industry to better understand what the essential elements of a live performance are, and whether these aspects need to be, and indeed can be replicated in a livestreamed event, for example in terms of level of sound quality and emotional response.


Michelle Phillips

Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Undergraduate Programmes at Royal Northern College of Music

Michelle Phillips is a Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Undergraduate Programmes at the Royal Northern College of Music, UK. Her research interests include music and time, perception of contemporary music, audience response to live and recorded music, entrepreneurship, and music and Parkinson’s. She is co-investigator with Manchester Camerata for a study examining physiological, behavioural and neurological response to live and recorded music. Recent publications include a co-edited volume entitled Music and Time: Psychology, Philosophy, Practice and an article on What Determines the Perception of Segmentation in Contemporary Music?

Amanda E. Krause

Lecturer (Psychology) in the College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University

Amanda E. Krause is a Lecturer (Psychology) in the College of Healthcare Sciences at James Cook University (Queensland, Australia). She also currently serves as President of the Australian Music & Psychology Society. As a music psychology scholar, she studies how we experience music in our everyday lives. Her research asks how our musical experiences influence our health and well-being. Dr Krause’s research has made significant contributions to understanding how listening technologies influence people and how musical engagement impacts well-being. Recent publications and further information can be found on her website at