Document Type


Date of Degree

Fall 2018

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

Wilson Kimber, Marian

First Committee Member

Getz, Christine

Second Committee Member

Harvey, Trevor

Third Committee Member

Jones, William L

Fourth Committee Member

Platte, Nathan


Music ensembles have made a concerted attempt to reach out through social media platforms to the communities surrounding their concert venues in order to attract young adults to replace aging audiences. By observing opera and symphony orchestra audience members’ social media engagement through Twitter and Facebook Live, this dissertation endeavors to better understand how technology has changed the culture of classical music concert attendance. The music organizations utilizing social media considered for this study include the Los Angeles Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Boston Lyric Opera for Tweet Seats, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra on Facebook Live. Consideration of live-tweets, Facebook Live concerts and comments, and personal interviews with social media users and music ensemble personnel provides insight to the changing experience of concert attendance.

Interviews with online users who are actively participating in Tweet Seats on Twitter and chatrooms on Facebook Live during live-streamed concerts reveal that integrating social media during live performances enhances their sense of community, and their musical and social experiences. Participants indicate that prior classical music experience affects their motivation to participate and engage with other users. For many interviewees, affordability and VIP perks were initial incentives for their online involvement, but the overall experience for these users is complex. Interacting online allowed classical music fans to connect and/or reconnect to the ensembles and their music, and to an existing wired community, while negotiating with changes to the long-standing conventions of classical music culture. These alternative concert-going experiences made possible by social media reconstruct liveness within a digital world, cultivate classical music fandom, and enrich the live listening experience through collective engagement.


classical music, community, concert attendance, Facebook Live, social media, Twitter and Tweet Seats


x, 173 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 140-160).


Copyright © 2018 Hang Thi Tuyet Nguyen

Included in

Music Commons