"Analysing Live Music in the UK" Findings One Year into a Three-Year Research Project

Simon Frith, Matt Brennan, Martin Cloonan, Emma Webster


This series of articles presents the findings of a research team who are one year into a three-year project investigating the social, cultural and economic impact of live music in the UK over the past 50 years. The project is funded by the UK's Arts and Humanities Research Council, and rather than focusing on a particular musical genre, it concentrates instead on understanding live music from the perspective of the live music promoter. The project aims to fill a significant gap in the scholarly knowledge and understanding of contemporary British musical culture, and to challenge and refine existing record-industry based accounts of music as a creative industry. The articles cover the team's progress in the following areas: the creation of an analytical framework to explore the historical, cultural, and institutional aspects of live music promotion; the development and professionalisation of the British live music industry over the past 50 years, and its changing relationship with the recording industry over the same period; the role of the state in the regulation of live music in the UK; and ethnographic research investigating how live music scenes operate in specific British localities.


live music,

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