Performing Numbers: Musicians and their Metrics

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    This chapter explores the implications of performance metrics as a source of self-knowledge and self-presentation. It does so through the figure of the contemporary musician. As performers on-stage and online, musicians are constantly assessed and evaluated by industry actors, peers, music fans, and themselves. The impact of powerful modes of quantification on personal experiences, understandings, and practices of artistic creation provides insight into the wider role that metrics play in shaping how we see ourselves and others; and how we present ourselves to others. Through in-depth interviews with emerging musicians, this chapter thus uses the artist as a lens through which to understand everyday life within the “performance complex.”
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Performance Complex
    Subtitle of host publicationCompetition and Competitions in Social Life
    EditorsDavid Stark
    PublisherOxford University Press
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9780198861669
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • musicians
    • metrics
    • self-knowledge
    • self-presentation
    • self-worth
    • commensuration

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