Chapter 2 reveals that the use of music in everyday life has taken the centre stage of music science research. Many studies described in the previous chapter exemplify how real people employ music in particular spaces, and these indicate that the effects of music are not easily disassociated from the specific contexts in which they are used. One model, developed by Hargreaves (2012, see Figure 2.1) describes the reciprocal interactive process whereby musical responses are both triggered from the music itself, the environmental context in which the music is heard, as well as accounts for covariates (such as personality traits, musical preference and taste, musical fit, presence of others, and other ongoing activity). Certainly, we not only do things to music, but most of the time, we do things with music. DeNora’s (2000, 2003) ethnographic studies confirmed that people ride, eat, fall asleep, dance, romance, daydream, exercise, celebrate, protest, purchase, worship, meditate, and procreate – with music playing in the background. Nonetheless, it is somewhat absurd that the popular location where individuals seem to be when they listen to music is not in the comfort of their living room, nor is it shared with social agents such as intimate partners, extended family, or friends. Rather, the circumstance most frequently reported while listening to music involves unaccompanied vehicular driving. This phenomenon was initially reported by Sloboda (1999, 2005; Sloboda, O’Neill, & Ivaldi, 2000, 2001), and then confirmed by Rentfrow and Gosling (2003). These studies have found that people do indeed listen to music when alone, when hanging out with friends, when getting ready to go out, and when exercising. Yet, in comparison to other lifetime daily activities such as hobbies, watching TV/movies, or reading books/ magazines, the studies found that we listen to music more often when we are seated inside an automobile driving alone. It should not, then, be surprising that drivers outfit their car as an audio-environment. Chapter 1 detailed the developments of the car-audio: a central entertainment unit has all but replaced the once-upon-atime standard AM/FM car-radio receiver that had become the legendary radio/ tape-cassette player. Newcomb (2008) summarises this development elegantly:
Today’s drivers, especially the young, customize their automobiles by installing a host of audio-components including compact disk players, changers, amplifiers, equalizers, and speakers of various frequency ranges. More specifically, the sound systems of cars in the 2010s feature capabilities such as digital HD sound reproduction with volumes up to 110dBls (Shawcross, 2008), multi-channel information that can route and re-route the appropriate signals to assorted speaker driver configurations, enhanced graphic animated displays, standard volume and timbre controls, channel and band tuning, selection between on-board sources and external devices or memory cards, a multitude of audio formats and compression types, DVD playback, internal hard drives, Bluetooth capability, GPS navigation, and enhanced security stealth modes with detachable faceplate.