Providing an intellectual hub to researchers of all musics that are mediated, consumed, or discussed online.

The network was inaugurated in early 2023 and welcomes new members who study music and the internet to help shape future directions.

What we do

Develop methodological and ethical recommendations for research on music and online cultures.

Maintain a Zotero library which acts as a bibliography of relevant research.

Hold regular events, ranging from reading groups to original research presentations.

Hang out on our Discord server, the main social space for the network.


Research on music and online cultures covers a range of topics, such as streaming services, livestreaming platforms, social media, cloud-based songwriting, and web-based communities. There is a groundswell of academic interest in these areas of study, especially among postgraduate and early career researchers. MOCReN is an online home for scholars wanting to meet, chat, and share with colleagues interested in this work.

Research Methods

There is little ethical guidance for research methods applied to online music cultures. Inspired by existing general approaches like the Association of Internet Researchers’ ethical guidelines, we aim to provide recommendations on best practice for music-based digital methods, explain research principles, and support statements to institutional review boards and peer reviewers.

In 2024 we will publish an online, open-access, living document providing easily digestible, short-form guidance on ethical issues arising from research on music and online cultures.


Scholarship on music and the internet derives from many different disciplines. We maintain a library of relevant literature to help scholars find work in their area of study. The bibliography is hosted as a Zotero group, accessible here. It’s growing by the day! Suggestions for additions are welcome. There is a channel dedicated to this in the Discord server.


At the heart of the network is a simple desire to learn new stuff with good people.

We have held in-person events at six-month intervals (a Summer Symposium at the University of Salford and a Winter Workshop at the University of Bristol), punctuated by online reading groups, based around open and inclusive discussion of a set text.

Discord Server

The MOCReN server is the conversational home of the network. We aim to cultivate an inclusive, welcoming, and collegial space. Most of our events are hosted on Discord alongside a range of channels dedicated to discussion.

You will be asked to agree to a code of behaviour and verify your account using a captcha. The steering committee act as volunteer moderators but are not trained community managers. If you would like to help maintain the server, get in touch.

Steering Committee

We established the network in January 2023 at the Music and Online Cultures Kernel event hosted at the University of Bristol, supported by the British Academy Early Career Researcher Network.

You can get in touch at ✉️

Joana Freitas is a PhD candidate in Musicology at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities of the NOVA University of Lisbon. She is an integrated researcher of the Centre for the Study of the Sociology and Aesthetics of Music (CESEM) and a member of the Research Clusters in Sound and Music in Digital and Audiovisual Media (CysMus) and Gender and Music (NEGEM), both integrated in the Group of Critical Theory and Communication (GTCC). Her main areas of interest are video game music, audiovisual media, digital culture and online communities. She edited two volumes on YouTube and Music with Holly Rogers and João Porfírio and has published articles on the Journal of Sound and Music in Games, Contemporary Music Review, Sonic Scope, among others.

Steven Gamble is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Bristol, specialising in the study of popular music, digital methods, and online music cultures. He is the author of the books How Music Empowers: Listening to Modern Rap and Metal (Routledge, 2021) and Digital Flows: Internet-Based Hip Hop Music and Culture (OUP, 2024), and has also published in Popular Music & Society, First Monday, Journal on the Art of Record Production, and Metal Music Studies. He is a board member and webmaster for the International Society for Metal Music Studies and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in Music Studies network.

Maria Perevedentseva is a Lecturer in Musicology at the University of Salford, specialising in the analysis of timbre and the history and criticism of electronic dance music and the popular avant-garde. In 2022, she completed her PhD at Goldsmiths, University of London, with a thesis titled ‘Something for Your Mind, Your Body and Your Soul. Timbre and Meaning in Electronic Dance Music’, with other research interests including music cognition, genre, linguistics, and computational approaches to cultural analysis. She has an article on timbre, psychedelics and the mycelial turn in Dancecult, and chapters in preparation for the Cambridge Companion to Electronic Dance Music, an Intellect Handbook of Popular Music Methodologies, and the volume Music and the Internet.

Ed Katrak Spencer is Lecturer I in Music at Magdalen College, University of Oxford, and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester on the AHRC project ‘Everything is Connected: Conspiracy Theories in the Age of the Internet’. His present research examines Beyoncé-related conspiracy theories online. In early 2023 he led a data sprint on this topic at the University of Amsterdam (final report here). His publications include an Organised Sound article about YouTube comments on Electronic Dance Music uploads and various book chapters about North American dubstep (e.g. ‘Music to Vomit to’). He is currently co-editing a book titled Music and the Internet with Christopher Haworth and Daniele Sofer.

Jenessa Williams completed her PhD at the University of Leeds in late 2023. Her thesis was titled “Music Fandom & #MeToo: morality crowdsourcing, racialised cancellation and complicated listening habits in online hip-hop and indie-rock communities”. Her research interests centre around the intersections of race, gender and feminism in music and music journalism, as well as wider articulations of fandom, sociopolitical activism and online cultural practice. Jenessa also works as a music journalist, with regular bylines for the likes of the Guardian, NME, The Forty-Five, DIY, Alternative Press and Music Week.