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Week 7: Framing versus ‘ Transversality’ – music, journalism and other ecologies of practice.

April 24, 2013

Framing consists of an individual’s beliefs and attitudes to how they approach their life and different situations in their life. Transversality is the connecting and exchange of different types of media which gradually reform and create new meaning and institutions. In the readings Murphie noted; a transversal is “a line that cuts across other lines, perhaps across entire fields – bringing the fields together in a new way, recreating fields as something else” (Murphie A, 2006). As I have studied throughout my degree, it is always emphasized how much of an impact the media has had on shaping individuals and the way they perceive different aspects of the world. With these changes in different aspects of individual’s lives essentially demonstrating what transversality is.

The ongoing debate as to what extent has the evolution of the music industry impacted upon the production and distribution of music is one bought up in this week’s readings. The music industry is constantly changing as technology evolves. The changing dynamics of the music industry is clear with the power shifting from being completely held by the distributor with the consumer gaining more control. This control is evident by consumer’s ability to digitally download music which is often down for free known as ‘pirating’. Although this practice in many instances is illegal, it is very hard to enforce the laws as to the sheer amount of individuals that do it. Furthermore new technologies are emerging constantly enabling for the downloading and music piracy process to be completed instantly. To some extent the transversality of music particularly into the digital realm has had devastating effects for artists.

The  Youtube clip below demonstrates that the Music industry is suffering for lack of cd sales cause many people can just get it for free.
However now the labels are getting smart and using the world of the internet to sustain their place in the market.


On the more positive side; the internet and other such technologies have enabled more individuals who are interested in developing themselves in the music industry the chance to do so. Be it writing, producing or performing music, individuals are now given a greater opportunity to do something they love, which without these technologies may have never been obtainable.  In saying this as well it also means maybe a decrease in quality of music that can be found on the internet as no credentials are needed.

The review by Dwight Garner in the New York Times called ‘When Labels Fought the Digital, and the Digital Won’ Garner notes how the new age of digital music was a missed opportunity for record labels. This is an interesting argument and one that really resonated with me. While it’s easy for record companies to complain about new technologies that have reduced record sales as people can down load music for free, it would have seemed logical for them to have done more to change their business models to adapt to changes of technology. Murphie (2006) noted; “I have suggested that, in tune with the object of study, that is media technologies that connect more and more aspects of the world to each other, transversality is the unavoidable discipline we must follow in new media studies – whatever we call it.” Rather than looking at these new technologies as burdens, record companies could have used them to their advantage. Some artists are perfect examples of those who have adapted to this digital world and created new markets for themselves. Many artists like Beyonce and Rhianna have created phone apps and other such business prospects which have helped in the selling of their albums.

Key word – Data


Digital Music News, February 2012 ‘I’m a Successful Artist. And Here’s Why Things Have Never Been Worse…’, Accessed April 23/4/13,

Dwight Garner, New York Times, ‘When Labels Fought the Digital, and the Digital Won’ accessed 23/4/13,

Mashable. June 2008. ‘Joss Stone thinks Piracy is Great’, Accessed April 23/4/13,

Murphie, A. (2006, December). Editorial [On Transversality], from The Fibreculture Journal (Issue 9):Accessed April 23/4/13,


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