The Covid-19 crisis has certainly impacted us all in many unexpected ways. Humans need social contact and close relationship with others.
After months of uncertainty, negative news being delivered daily, lock-downs and social distancing, signs of its negative influence on mental health are becoming more and more noticeable. So much so, that the WHO and doctors around the globe have developed guidelines and suggestions on how to battle this issue.
And the impacts go much further: on the ways we work, on social and professional relationships and daily routines, for example.
Musicians are no different. Struggles with emotional control, financial planning and ability to develop creative ideas in times of stress are just a few examples currently faced by musicians.
For this reason, we at LiveInnovation.org have developed recently the first version of Live AM: Artist Monitor, to research many of these issues.
And we are definitely not alone!
Musicovid: An International Research Network
Niels Chr. Hansen (Aarhus University, Denmark) ) and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann (Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics) have recently developed an exciting and timely initiative: the Musicovid: An International Research Network.
As described on their webpage, the goal of this initiative is to connect and build an interdisciplinary network of academics, musicians and stakeholders from all over the globe that somehow are investigating the relationship of music and the Covid-19 crisis.
Furthermore, also as described on the webpage of the project, the network has the following aims:
- connect researchers who plan to study or have already started to study some musical aspect of the COVID-19 pandemic
- create and coordinate a shared archive of videos, hashtags, and media coverage, based on Niels Chr. Hansen’s crowd-sourced database and other similar efforts
- inspire interdisciplinary, collaborative, and global research on that topic and invite contributions to a workshop/conference and an edited volume or special issue
Thus, given the interdisciplinary nature of the network, all areas of science and research are invited. Here are some of the topics and questions which the creators have listed as potential aspects for investigation of the network:
- How did listening and music making behaviour change during the COVID-19 pandemic?
- How do people use music as a means to cope with the situation?
- How do organizers of live music events (concert halls, festival managers etc.) respond to the situation?
- How do musicians respond creatively and practically to the situation?
- How can we simulate liveness in a time with no live music performances?
- Can participatory music making from a distance be used as a remedy for spatial distancing?
- How could we establish a typology of corona songs (in terms of content, approach, mood, instrumentation, newly composed vs. cover songs)?
- Which pieces do people pick as repertoire for virtual choirs or ensembles or for balcony singing?
- How has music been used during previous crises, and what implications may this have for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
Would You Like to Join?
So far the network already includes researchers from countries such as Brazil, Australia, USA, Finland, Portugal, Israel, Indonesia, Canada, Greece, Spain, Germany and many more.
(Click here to find an updated version of all projects currently listed).
And to register it is quite simple: visit their website to read the full description, make sure to fill the required register form, and finally, submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org ((Subject line: Registration Network).
That is it! Right after you will be part of an international network of researchers that seek to understand the impact of Covid-19 crisis on musicians. So make sure to join and share your ideas.
I highly appreciate initiatives such as this one, from Niels Chr. Hansen and Melanie Wald-Fuhrmann. Scientific institutions and academics need more networks, easier sharing of ideas and collaboration. And this is a wonderful solution which hopefully will generate great outcomes.
Music is said to always bring people together, but the pandemic has unfortunately push us all apart. Interestingly, the investigation of this phenomena (and its network of projects) may have the opposite effect and undo what the pandemic has caused.
As with music, there is always a way of finding positives in difficult situations.
Turn it up and long live the Musicovid network!