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Storytelling on crack: Could Spotify's new Facebook Timeline change music education?

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Spotity
Courtesy of Spotify
Eminem
To Eminem. A listen is just a click away. Courtesy photo
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hildegard von bingen
Eminem

Facebook changed how we communicate with friends and family. Google challenged how we search for information. The Kindle altered the course of the book industry, and iTunes redefined music consumption.

Enter Spotify: The digital music service and its database of millions of songs and compositions is out to chronicle history and offer another avenue learn about music, from as early as organum works of the Christian church at the beginning of the second century.

That's quite impressive for the five-year-old Swedish company that has three million paying clients and 10 million active end users. For the time being, the service will continue to be free with ads — commercial-free for $5 to $10 monthly.

The tuneful social network has capitalized the use of Facebook's new Timeline format, which became the base standard for all brand pages, bringing them up to speed with individual accounts as introduced in December

 The layout feels like a chronological archive — a personal diary — of events past and present. For Spotify, it's musical storytelling on crack.

The layout feels like a chronological archive — a personal diary — of events past and present. For Spotify, it's musical storytelling on crack. 

Some preliminary studies say that the new design doesn't improve engagement.

But Spotify's innovative use has huge potential — if administered properly — both for revenue generation and for music education.

A listen is a mouse click away.

Check out the year 1,403 and find an entry for the birth of French composer Solage. The link opens Gothic Voices' The Unknown Lover: Songs by Solage and Machaut. In 1800, Beethoven's Symphony No. 1 was premiered in Vienna. 

An 1899 post announces the birth of Duke Ellington and gospel legend Thomas Dorsey. The 1950s tells of the first Grammy Awards, Miles Davis' Kind of Blue and David Brubeck's Time Out. In 1962 The Beatles released "Love Me Do" and in 1999 Eminem debut album, The Slim Shady, came out.

No sooner than Spotify announced that it would track "memorable posts," fans poured in with comments suggesting additions like the riots at the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring in 1913, the birth of Ella Fitzgerald in 1917 and the death of Jimi Hendrix in 1970.

And with that, Spotify's morphs its Facebook wall into an interactive and easily accessible database effective for 21st-century learning, essentially. 

In a recent Facebook post, it writes:

Of course, all this is just the beginning. We'll be adding more and more huge historical landmarks in the coming weeks as well as keeping you up to date with the freshest and most important music moments of today.

It's too early to tell how this resource will unfold. Questions of inclusivity, accuracy and accountability will surely surface. Who's responsible for verifying information? 

Tell us in the comments: Do you think this resource will catch on fire? Or will it remain an entertaining destination at best?

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