Bringing the Banjo Back to Life: The Field of Dutch Independent Folk Music as Participatory Culture

Niels van Poecke, Janna Michael

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperAcademic

Abstract

This paper aims to investigate the factors underlying the social production of independent folk music in the first decade of the twenty-first century. By linking the production of culture perspective to the concept of music scenes and using in-depth interviews with indie-folk musicians, fans and gatekeepers in the Netherlands, it argues that the production of current forms of folk music is embedded in the shift towards greater participation brought forward by the rise of digitization and Web 2.0. This is observed, firstly, in how musicians strongly build on do-it-yourself ideology and use participatory aesthetics in performance practice to decrease the distance between ‘creator’ and ‘user’. Secondly, looking at Dutch independent record companies, it comes forth in how they are inspired by elements of the gift economy and use file sharing to build community. Thirdly, from the part of the audience, it is observed in how active fans contribute to their field by self-organizing small events in intimate settings using both their online and offline networks, forming participatory culture behind Web 2.0. By investigating the logics behind these musician, distributor and fan based practices in the field of Dutch independent folk music, this paper aims to contribute to sociological research on how digitization has transformed the conditions of the global music industry, as well as what impact this technological development has had on both the production and aesthetic evaluation of music produced under such new conditions. Keywords: Folk music, Music scenes, Participatory culture, DIY, Production of culture
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2014
EventA long way to the top: The production and reception of popular music in a global world - Erasmus University Rotterdam
Duration: 6 Nov 20147 Nov 2014

Conference

ConferenceA long way to the top: The production and reception of popular music in a global world
CityErasmus University Rotterdam
Period6/11/147/11/14

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