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Title: Music like water : exploring the functions of music through thematic bibliometric analysis and comparative ESM study
Author: Maloney, Liam
ISNI:       0000 0005 0287 6679
Awarding Body: University of York
Current Institution: University of York
Date of Award: 2019
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Music has always been a functional, utilitarian resource, allowing for bonding, interaction, identity creation, and myriad additional functions for individuals and wider society. Since Alan Merriam’s pioneering work suggesting a delineation between concepts of music use and function, researchers have continued to identify a range of functions of music. Yet, two issues pervade the field; firstly, the issue of a universally accepted definition of function, and secondly, the lack of consensus between researchers as to what the functions of music are. This research aims to identify the functions of music in everyday life, grounded in the underlying contention that music is a resource employed by listeners to achieve context-dependent goals: a process referred to as music-facilitated goal attainment. This thesis addresses these issues with a preliminary theoretical investigation, followed by a mixed- methods experimental phase, and then a final grouping phase. Firstly, employing a qualitative approach to construct a pseudo-consensus, a bibliometric study was conducted and identified 52 publications containing 807 references to functions of music. The contents of the publications were examined and categorised using thematic analysis. When sorted and compiled, 45 distinct functions of music were identified. The outcome is described and visualised, forming a ‘Aggregate Thematic Functions Framework’ (ATFF). The second research phase utilised an experience sampling methodology study to confirm the validity and parity of the ATFF with the experience of real-world listeners. Participants reported music selection criteria, situational goals, activities, and locations. The resulting data were analysed using the same methodology as the previous analysis phase. 44 distinct functions of music were identified. These were then combined with the ATFF functions, resulting in a ‘Consensus Functions Framework’ (CFF). When compiled, 53 distinct functions of music are included in the CFF. The thesis also provides an extensive exploration of the contextual variables informing goal-orientated listening and a potential methodology for further investigation of the phenomenon.
Supervisor: Laws, Catherine ; Wells, Jez Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available