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The Ideal Idol: Making Music with Hatsune Miku
Hatsune Miku, an anime style character associated with “Vocaloid” vocal synthesizer software, is enjoying unprecedented success. Her image and voice appear in a wide range of media from amateur produced songs on the internet to multi-million-dollar productions during which she performs ‘live’ as a hologram on stage.
Her immense popularity, however, raises many questions about the potential effects of Vocaloid software on the future of making music globally. Through the technical production of songs, the quality of vocals, and her presence on stage, Miku slides back and forth between a position of classic passivity to one of female empowerment and feminist approaches to equity. This paper further explores Miku’s complicated position as a an ‘ideal idol’ who perpetuates an objectified position of women in popular music while at the same time promotes democratic music making.