ReviewsBooks purporting to construct an accurate reading of the future often have short shelf lives. This one should last longer than most. Beyond 2.0: The Future of Music constructs a nuanced perspective on its clearly stated topic, rooted in an awareness of the legal, technological, social and industrial contexts in which music must find an audience and earn its keep in the twenty-first century. The book details the technological history of communications media and music from before the invention of playback and recording, through the era of “recorded artefacts” with its unquestioned dominance by the major labels, to the digital era of instantaneous global do-it-yourself (DIY) distribution. The book’s longevity will come from this broad and detailed historical perspective and how it deals with factors such as human creativity and technological change in terms of “the shaping of possibility” (7) for music. It does not proscribe a specific future, but frames the primary limiting and enabling factors while discussing likely paths forward, allowing room for human creativity and agency.
Journal of World Popular Music
I would not hesitate in recommending this title to my students: Beyond 2.0: The Future of Music covers important ground in accessible ways; the exposition is always lucid and well-supported with references to appropriate literature. There is much to learn from an engagement with the work.
The book is a valuable contribution that works as a systematic, in-depth, historically informed, multiperspective analysis of the music industries as network in the digital era.