WISERD Qualitative Researcher, 14 pp 2-4
Over the past decade there have been a number of calls from across the social sciences to engage music as both the object of study and a tool for research (cf. Revill, 2000; Connell and Gibson, 2003; Wood et al., 2007). These calls come at time when major shifts in technology and cultural economic policy have significantly altered the music industry. For example, new digital technologies (especially MP3) have transformed the everyday consumption of music (Leyshon, 2000) and a new breed of creativity-focussed local economic policy has reshaped local music industries (Florida, 2002). As such, this paper explores new ways of conducting qualitative research that engages with music. In particular, it addresses the
question: how can research into local music practices inform our understanding of contemporary cultural and economic relations? This paper argues that a focus on localised music practices can have a ‘decentering’ effect on our understanding of the cultural economy. Moreover, it aims to challenge the “tendency to reify ‘The Economy’ as a singular economic body” which writes a “singular script of economic development” and treats “‘the music industry’ as a singular sector … of production, distribution
and retailing” (Gibson and Kong, 2005:553).