Producing music, producing myth? Creativity in Recording Studios


  • Paul Thompson UK and Ireland Branch
  • Brett Lashua UK and Ireland Branch


Creativity, Rock, Hip-hop, Recording, Myth, Recording Studios


This paper explores research on the power of myth (Barthes 1972) and commonly accepted beliefs, or “doxa” (Bourdieu, 1977), in shaping creative practices inside recording studios. Drawing from two ethnographic case studies of rock and hip-hop artists in recording studios, this paper addresses the (re)production of myths during studio sessions. Through critical incident analyses, we challenge romanticized representations of studios as individualistic spaces and highlight how mythic representations of creativity influence musicians’ technical expectations of recording processes. Additionally, we illustrate the circulation of, and moments of resistance to, myths from cultural domains outside of the studio that pervade practices within studios. In sum, we show that studios—sites involving the intense scrutiny of music-making—offer incisive contexts in which to examine how myth can shape recording processes and studio practices.

Author Biographies

Paul Thompson, UK and Ireland Branch

Senior Lecturer - Music, Sound and Performance.

Brett Lashua, UK and Ireland Branch

Senior Lecturer - School of Sport



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