The Listening Experience Database Project launches

Help contribute to a ground-breaking database.

Can you help document the impact of music on people’s lives or do you have evidence of listening experiences that you would like to record?

The Listening Experience Database is an ambitious collaboration led by Professor David Rowland, Dean of Arts, and involving the:

  • Music and English Departments
  • Knowledge Media Institute (KMi)
  • The Royal College of Music.

It is funded by a £0.75m research grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

The database will gather records of people’s personal experiences of listening to music of all kinds.

It will include a huge variety of information relating to any culture and repertoire: not only what people were listening to and where and when they listened to it, but also – crucially – the effect it had on them.

David said: “Music is a deeply personal thing. Whether it’s a nursery rhyme we remember from childhood or a song we have come to love as we grow up, each of us has our own individual soundtrack.

“Now, for the first time, we will be able to capture and bring together a massive range of personal listening experiences from any historical period and from any culture.”

The project will provide insights into how music is performed, studied and learned, and the ways in which it is valued and understood in society.

In addition to gathering pre-existing information from a variety of archives and historical sources, we are now inviting you to add evidence to the database. The kinds of sources we are looking for include diaries, memoirs and letters.

Visit the Listening Experience Database project website for further information, including details of how to get involved.

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