How Popular Music Programmes at Higher Music Education Institutions Create Professional Musicians

Over the past decades, we have seen an increasing number of popular music programmes at higher music education institutions (HPME programmes). How do both students and teachers perceive such programmes and to what extent do they contribute to the career development of musicians? POPLIVE researcher Rick Everts published a research article on this topic, co-authored by Pauwke Berkers and Erik Hitters. In their study, they conclude that the main benefits that these programmes are perceived to offer concern the development of a set of necessary competences, the establishment of industry relationships and the acquisition of symbolic resources. In line with the ‘normative value’ perspective on professionalism, a norm of expertise is promoted, and in line with the ‘power struggle’ perspective, these symbolic resources help to foster a professional identity, both of which are believed to help students to stand out from musicians without forms of formal education entering the market.

The article can be found here

Why venues and festivals should not primarily focus on digitising their offerings

In a digitalising world, pop venues and festivals face the task of whether and how to adapt to this development. During the pandemic, some venues invested heavily in equipment to livestream performances, and during those years there were even voices that livestreams and holograms could eventually replace traditional live offerings. However, based on the POPLIVE publication ‘I was There!’, that view can be disputed. One of the main conclusions from this study is that physical copresence, being there, is the key element of concert experience, something that can not be perfectly simulated in a digital context. Therefore, the primary focus of venues and festivals in the post-pandemic era should not be at digitising their offerings.

Read the article “The value of being there” that was published in the magazine UNCOVER – The Future of Leisure here.

Martijn Mulder successfully defends PhD thesis on venues and festivals

On July 7, 2023, POPLIVE researcher Martijn Mulder defended his PhD Thesis “I was There!” at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The goals of this study have been to map the live pop music practice in the 21st century, achieve an understanding of value creation within live music, and assess the feasibility of an ecology approach to live music. The book is built from a holistic (interdisciplinary, multi-epistemological) perspective on live music and approaches the subject from both what happens onstage, how that is organised backstage and how that is received and experienced frontstage. A digital copy of the Thesis can be downloaded here. An article about the study in Dutch newspaper Trouw can be found here.



POPLIVE research in podcast series The Live Coaches (Dutch)

The Live Coaches is a podcast series in The Netherlands hosted by Vincent de Raad en Melanie Esther. They interview people from the pop music sector with the goal to help (emerging) artists to learn more about performing live. In the first episode of the second season, POPLIVE-researcher Martijn Mulder explores live performance in pop music from a scientific context. Based on his research on venues and festivals and on how the audience members construct their experience of the concert, he explorer how academic research can benefit the daily practice of doing gigs. The podcast can be found here and on Spotify. 

Symposium: From Stage to Campus (and back)

On Thursday July 6, 2023, POPLIVE organizes the mini-symposium “From Stage to Campus (and back). Pop music research in practice“. This symposium explores the value of academic research on pop music for the sector; how can pop music organizers, festivals, artists, policy-makers etc. benefit from scientific research projects and what are the most valuable future opportunities? Speakers at the symposium are Britt Swartjes, Daniel Nordgard, Frank Kimenai and Martijn Mulder. The symposium starts at 15.00h, ends with drinks around 17.15h and the entrance is free. For more info see below.

“De meeste Nederlandse bands houden het maar kort vol”

[in Dutch]

Naar aanleiding van het proefschrift Making a living in live music dat POPLIVE onderzoeker Rick Everts op 17 februari verdedigd heeft aan de Erasmus Universiteit, publiceerde De Volkskrant en Trouw op die datum artikelen over de studie van Everts. De artikelen zijn te lezen via onderstaande links:

Volkskrant: De meeste Nederlandse bands houden het maar kort vol. Wat maakt dat je het redt?

Trouw: Vijf jaar na Noorderslag is de helft van de bands verdwenen. ‘Dan komt de reality-check’.

PhD defence Rick Everts: Making a Living in Live Music

POPLIVE researcher Rick Everts successfully defended his dissertation ‘Making a Living in Live Music‘ on Friday 17 February 2023 at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Within the POPLIVE project he studied early-career pop musicians in The Netherlands. Ahead of his PhD defence, Rick has been interviewed by Dutch news radio De Nieuws BV (Radio 1). The interview can be found here

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POPLIVE @ ESNScience: Superstar Economy

POPLIVE will be present at the annual conference and showcase festival Eurosonic Noorderslag. As part of the ESNScience track, Erik Hitters and Martijn Mulder will present their research on the Dutch live industry as a superstar economy. They will present analyses based on data on gigs and artist fees in the Netherlands and discuss the outcomes with industry panelists. The panel will take place Friday 20 January 1.30pm @ Oosterpoort Back 9.

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