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Popular music in the city : an examination of local music scenes, popular music practice and cultural policy in the city of Leicester

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posted on 15.12.2014, 10:41 by Abigail. Gilmore
This thesis examines popular music in the city of Leicester. It looks at local popular music practice through the activities, values and structures of support associated with local music scenes and music industry. It explores the ways in which popular music contributes to city life through the activities of particular groups involved in the production and distribution of music in Leicester. It also considers how local governance structures influence and shape music practice through cultural policy and municipal government and regulation. Using the concepts 'music scene' and 'music community' I consider how participation in popular music in the city is organised around particular sites, activities, coalitions and alliances. The production and localisation of identities, values and economies through popular music practice are considered via case study and through examination of the relationship between public sector supported initiatives and different social and music communities. In particular, I focus on the ways in which popular music is thought to represent different social groups and how this representation is an important element of local cultural policy. The social function of popular music in marking and contributing to social and cultural identity (Frith 1987) is examined in the context of urban communities and identities, and in terms of its propensity to facilitate public celebration and display of diverse ethnicities in a multicultural city. I consider the history of provision for popular music and recent policy initiatives in Leicester in comparison to other examples of urban cultural policy, which are offered as a framework for considering different strategies for urban regeneration and animation through the popular music sector. In doing so, I question the relationship between cultural value and cultural policy and discuss issues associated with local music scenes and identities and the influences on local music policy and practice.


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University of Leicester

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