Exploring the Networked Worlds of Popular Music
By Peter Webb
Routledge – 2008 – 278 pages
Series: Routledge Advances in Sociology
This book provides an `insider’ view of worlds of popular music. It shows the relationship between music, creativity, ideas and localities by looking at cities, independents, genre, globalization and musician’s relationships with each other. Webb examines groups of musicians, audiences and people involved in the music industry and shows the articulation of their position as well as how to understand this theoretically by looking at the city as a centre for music production; the industrial music inspired neo-folk genre; independence and its various meanings as a productive position in the music industry; the globalization of music; and musicians own narratives about working together and dealing with the industry. Utilizing case studies of a variety of different cities -- Bristol, London, New York, San Francisco, Berlin -- and genres -- Trip-hop, Hip-hop, Industrial, Neo-folk -- this volume is a landmark in popular music studies.
"Looking at the music scene in Bristol, England, Webb considers both genres (such as neo-folk, trip-hop, and hip-hop) and the influence of the recording industry in order to illustrate how geography, genre, globalization, and economies influence individuals and subculures involved in the creation of popular music…Recommended." -- B.A. Hunter, University of Idaho, Choice
"Many years of immersion in the challenging and idiosyncratic music scene of Bristol, UK have enabled Peter Webb to turn his empirical knowledge to theoretical ends: joining in the project to rethink the perennially thorny topic of subculture."
-- Catherine Baker, University of Southampton, UK, Journal Popular Music, January 2009
"Peter Webb's concept of milieu cultures provides one of the most sophisticated attempts to situate popular music." -- Keith Kahn-Harris, University of London, Popular Music and Society
Introduction Section 1: Theories of Culture and Music 1. A Journey through Theories of the Intersection of Music and Culture 2. Milieu Cultures: The Theoretical Development of the Milieu: From Subcultures, Scenes and Neo-Tribes to Milieu Section 2: Journeys through Networked Worlds of Popular Music: Milieu Cultures 3. Interrogating the Production of Sound and Place: Bristol as a Site of Music Production, from Lunatic Fringe to Worldwide Massive 4. Neo-Folk or Post Industrial Music: The Development of an Esoteric Music Milieu 5. Hip-Hop as a Global Cultural Phenomenon: The Export and Appropriation of Contradiction, Complexity and Dialogue 6. The Great in the Small: The Changing Terrain of Independence 7. Musicians: (In) Security in the Trial and Error of the Recording Industry. Conclusion: Milieu Cultures
Peter Webb is Lecturer in Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London.