Biophilia: technology that transforms music education

Music Class USA. Photo by 인호 조 (Sungmin Yun). CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Music Class USA.
Photo by 인호 조 (Sungmin Yun). CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons

In today’s society, technology is fundamentally embedded in the everyday learning environments of children. The development of educative interactive apps is constantly increasing, and this is undoubtedly true for apps designed to facilitate musical development. So much so that computer-based technology has become an integral part of children’s musical lives, with music apps as present in their musical development as pencils and paper. One artist who not only intimately understands this evolution, but also knows how to harness its potential, is Icelandic singer/songwriter Björk.

In 2011, Björk released a concept album entitled Biophilia, presented as the first ‘app album’ ever to be released. It has subsequently made its way into the Museum of Modern Art, New York, as the museum’s first downloadable app in its permanent collection. Four years in the making, Biophilia explores the intersection between music, nature, and technology, with each of the ten songs on the album connected to its accompanying app, linking the song’s theme to a particular musicological concept. In an attempt to redefine how music is made in the 21st century, the ultimate aim of the Biophilia project was to develop a way of making music that is more intuitive and accessible than traditional academic approaches to music education. Full story.

Gary McPherson and Solange Glasser (Oxford University Press) / October 23, 2015

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