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date: 28 July 2017

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter investigates the coconstruction of musical identities among audiences and performers in the virtual world of Second Life. Within this digital environment, musicians, rendered as digitally constructed avatars, perform “live” concerts in front of audience members, each represented by their own avatar. Through an ethnographic account of live music performances in Second Life, including interviews with musicians and audience members, this chapter will explore the layered identities of Second Life participants as they socially construct their digital avatar personas within the virtual world. Musical personas of Second Life participants, like real-world identities, are constantly in flux and incomplete, and are constructed in the process of musical performances. Musical avatars, both of musicians and audiences, are thus complex intersubjective and intrasubjective mediators of the meaningful sociomusical experiences that draw participation into virtual worlds.

Keywords: Virtual worlds, Second Life, musical personas, identity, avatars, ethnography

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