Welcome to Harkive 2017

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Harkive is an annual online popular music research project that invites people to tell the tale of HowWhere and Why they listen to music on a single day each year. The aim of the project is to capture for posterity a snapshot of the way in which we interact with the sounds and technology of today.

On Tuesday 25th July we hope you’ll join in by telling Harkive the story of your music listening day.

In this quick guide, you’ll find everything you need to know about joining other music fans around the world on 25th July. We’d like you to help us add to the 8,000 stories gathered by the project since we launched in 2013.

Why tell your story? 

Millions and millions of people will be listening to music on 25th July, but no two people will listen in precisely the same way, or for the same reasons. That makes you interesting.

You might use certain products, services, formats and technologies that are common to many others. You might spend the day listening to the same radio station as millions of others. You might go to a gig, or hear music in a restaurant, or catch the hint of a song from the window of a passing car. Whatever your experience, or the situations you find yourself in as you listen, what happens will be unique to you. It is the unique nature of your story that we are trying to capture.

How, Where and Why you listen to music is fascinating – we’d like you to tell us all about it.

How to tell your story

Telling your story is easy, and you can tell it in a variety of ways. Hopefully there is one that suits your habits already, and you won’t need to go too far out of your way to do it.

You can post to social media platforms, such as Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr, simply by adding the #harkive hashtag to your posts throughout the day. Or you can ‘like’ the Harkive Facebook page and post something to our wall. You can post as many times as you like across the day.

If you’d like to take your time and write something a little longer, you can email your story to us, or post it via our online form.

A full list of the ways you can tell your story is available on the How To Contribute page.

What do Harkive stories look like?

The stories the project receives come in all shapes and sizes, from short tweets to long-form essays. The shortest story in the database has just 6 words, the longest has almost 4,000. We’ve already had our first story of 2017, which came in via Twitter from Auckland, New Zealand just after midnight local time – have a look.

For further inspiration, have a look at some of the Example stories we’ve gathered from musicians, journalists, academics and others in recent years. For some more examples, here is a slideshow of some extracts from stories gathered since 2013 – flick through to see how people have told their stories. Remember, though: there is no right or wrong way to tell your story. Just tell us in your own words about the role that music plays in your day on 25th July.

Harkive Moments


Have a look around online and get involved

Many regular Harkive participants comment that one of their favourite things about the day reading the posts of others, or joining in with conversations with other participants. Some even discover new songs through the project. Have a look on Social Media channels (especially Twitter, where most of the action seems to take place) by searching the #harkive hashtag.

If you do make some discoveries, and just for fun, why not add them to the 2017 Harkive Collaborative Playlist on Spotify. Click here to view that.

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Can you tell us more?

For 2017 we also have a Music Listening Survey. This takes around 5-10 minutes to complete, and will provide the project with some additional context about your music listening that will be crucial to the research that underpins this project (more on that below). Whether or not you intend to join in with Harkive 2017, please do take a moment to complete the survey.

By way of background, we road-tested this survey last year with a UK-based vinyl and CD manufacturer. Their staff completed the survey and produced this beautiful infographic. We’d love to include your responses in something similar.

What happens after Harkive 2017?

Harkive will return again in 2018. In the meantime it forms the basis of a PhD research project at Birmingham City University by Craig Hamilton. Shortly after Harkive 2017, Craig will complete his thesis. Information about any publications or conference papers that emerge from this research work will be posted to this site, and via the Harkive social media channels. By collecting Harkive stories through digital channels, Craig’s research is able to explore computational methods of analysis as a means by which to examine the role that digital technologies play in contemporary experiences of popular music.

What happens to my data?

This project has been approved by Birmingham City University’s Research Ethics Committee, and for more information on that please see our Research Ethics statement. None of the personal information (email addresses, etc) provided by you to the project will be made available to 3rd parties without your consent but elements of stories may be shared via an API research tool currently in development. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions related to this.

Please help us spread the word 

We’d love to hear from as many people as possible on Tuesday 25th July, so if you think the project is interesting, please do tell your friends about Harkive and encourage them to join in. You can share this post with the following link: http://harkive.org/h17-welcome/

Ask us anything

If you have any questions about Harkive, or would like some guidance about how to tell your story, please feel free to email us, or say ask us on Twitter, where we are @harkive

We’d love to hear your story on Tuesday 25th July. Please do join us by telling Harkive your story.