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Ahlsved, Kaj (ÅA): Music and sport: soundscape, identity, context and function

The main goal of my research is to focus on the music that surrounds us in our everyday life. I am interested in how pre-recorded music is used during sporting events, which functions the music has and on which grounds it is chosen and used. This largely neglected area of research is an example of a growing interest for ‘ubiquitous music' (Kassabian 2013), in other words, for music that surrounds us and affects us, even if we do not pay direct attention to it. With pre-recorded music I refer to music that has been chosen beforehand but is not needed for the athletic performance itself.

I will divide my research into four different parts, each covered by separate articles. The first article focuses on the structures of three sports soundscapes from a hi-fi/lo-fi perspective. It will be published in the Yearbook of the Finnish Society for Ethnomusicology. The second article will focus on the function of music during an event and connected with what is called foreground and background music. It is, in other words, a way of dividing music that is supposed to be consumed during simultaneous activities and music that is supposed to be listened to and concentrated upon.  The third and fourth articles will focus on the characteristics of  sports music and its  relation to music used in TV marketing, sports video games and movies. Research in North America (McLeod 2006 & 2011) has shown the importance of the musical profiles of different sports.