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Online and offline rock music networks: a case study on Liverpool, 2007-2009

Barna, Roza Emilia (2011) Online and offline rock music networks: a case study on Liverpool, 2007-2009. Doctoral thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Abstract

This thesis explores the relationship between the online and offline presence and activity of contemporary indie rock bands in Liverpool. It addresses two main questions: firstly, how should the relationship of music, place, and social groups be described and understood in the age of the Internet; and secondly, what can research on local music making suggest about the relationship between online and offline worlds. These questions are addressed through ethnographic research conducted between 2007-2009. The research involved qualitative analysis of online content, discourse, and connections related to Liverpool indie bands and music events, as well as first-hand observation of offline events and interviews with musicians. On the basis of this, the thesis proposes two main arguments: Firstly, online presentation and interaction surrounding bands and events are closely connected to offline events, places, and personal relationships. Local music ‘scenes’ must therefore be understood as both online and offline, and their temporal and spatial (self-)positioning in online space can only be understood with reference to offline places and temporal dynamics. Secondly, the ‘network’ is a useful concept for describing and analysing the relationship of online and offline worlds. It is conceptualised in the thesis as the dynamic set of active, enacted, and negotiated connections among those participating in music making. This conceptualisation enables the description of the social world of participants in music making within a particular local environment, which at the same time branches out globally through the active collective online presence of these participants. The analysis of a band’s network structures enables the identification of both its individual characteristics and collective-oriented ties along such lines as genre and style, career stage and success, and aims and strategies. The network complements the notion of the ‘scene,’ which is defined by an expressed and represented coherence with regard to the aspects of genre aesthetics and ethics; locality; discursive participation and identification; and personal relationships. Moreover, the analysis shows that online technology has provided new means for music networks to function as cultural resource and form part of identities related to music making and place.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Departments, Research Centres and Related Units:Academic Faculties, Institutes and Research Centres > Faculty of Arts > School of Music
Status:Unpublished
ID Code:4313
Deposited On:03 Jan 2012 11:59
Last Modified:03 Jan 2012 11:59

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