New book explores popular music & cultural policy

What is the proper role of government in shaping how we produce, consume and regulate music?

Three researchers from Australia, New Zealand and Scotland have explored the different roles of the state in national and global music markets.

Shane-Homan-bookAssociate Professor Shane Homan (Monash University), Professor Martin Cloonan (University of Glasgow) and Dr Jen Cattermole (University of Otago) interviewed over 70 key industry and policy figures in each nation for Popular music industries and the state: policy notes, part of the new Routledge series in Popular Music studies.

“Popular music remains at the forefront of key issues confronting the cultural industries, such as globalisation, and changes to intellectual property policies and industrial promotional strategies,” said Associate Professor Homan.

“We were interested in the different local contexts facing each nation, and also how relatively small music trading nations construct policies to compete with larger music trading blocs in the US and Europe”.

The book offers insight into how different sectors and arms of government are dealing with intellectual property law, and the legal, political and cultural consequences for industry sectors and nations.

Popular music industries and the state also examines the increasing importance of urban policies and the rise of the ‘music city’ as a branding tool for national and global consumption.

For Associate Professor Shane Homan, the current ‘lockout law’ debates in Sydney reinforce the role of music in wider night-time economies. “We looked at Melbourne, Wellington and Glasgow as three different case studies in which popular music has led the charge to reinvigorate local cultural industries, especially through live music”, he said. “Tensions still remain between city governments wanting to sell a ‘vibrant’ night-time music economy, and what that really means for city soundscapes”.

Book Launch

A book launch will be held on Tuesday, 22 March at 7.30 pm at the Tote hotel, Collingwood. Helen Marcou and Quincy McLean, owners of Bakehouse Studios and organisers of the Save Live Australian Music rally in 2010, will launch the book. The band Small Town Romance and a pub BBQ will also be part of the launch activities.

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