This is the art form: Examining concept albums' methods of constructing meaning in the digital age

Mario Alonzo Dozal, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

This study examined how the communicative characteristics of concept albums (music albums that center on a specific theme) have been adapted from a traditional physical form to exist in the digital age. Using three rock concept albums, this study examined how three different formats (vinyl, audio compact disc, and digital download) of the same concept album communicated the overall theme of the album to listeners, and also examined the advantages and disadvantages of each format. Additionally, using discursive analysis, this study sought to expand the academic literature on concept albums by examining the role that supplementary material plays in helping communicate the theme of the album in the digital age. Discursive analysis was also used to analyze artist interviews regarding the creation of concept albums, and listener's reception of the album's concept. ^ Results of the study showed that while the traditional form of the concept album continues to exist in the digital age, the concept album is no longer fully communicated solely through music and album packaging. Instead, concept albums in the digital age have become more focused on communicating a greater immersive experience for the listener through various forms of interaction, which also leads to the concept existing outside of the album's parameters. New concept album categories were also proposed in order to foster future research of digital age concept albums, taking into account the inclusion of digital supplementary material.^

Subject Area

Music|Speech Communication|Multimedia Communications

Recommended Citation

Dozal, Mario Alonzo, "This is the art form: Examining concept albums' methods of constructing meaning in the digital age" (2012). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1513102.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1513102

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