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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The mass-scale adoption of modern mobile computing technology presents immense potential to reshape the way we engage one another socially, creatively, and musically. This article explores ad hoc music-making and improvisatory performance on a massive scale, leveraging personal interactive mobile instruments (e.g., via iPhones and iPads), location-awareness (via GPS), and the connective social potential of cloud computing. I investigate a new social/musical improvisatory context that doesn’t exist in any single location but as a network and community of anonymous but connected participants around the world. As case studies, I will draw from experiences with the Stanford Mobile Phone Orchestra, as well as the community of Smule social/proto-musical experiences on mobile devices, including Ocarina, I Am T-Pain, and MadPad. I reflect on these experiences in the context of a new type of “anytime, anywhere” music made with mobile devices.

Keywords: mobile music, anywhere anytime music, improvisation, social music, mobile phone, iPhone, Ocarina, Auto-Tune, audience participation

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