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An ethnography of the music scene in Portland, Oregon

Murray, Samuel 2018. An ethnography of the music scene in Portland, Oregon. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Abstract

The northwest city of Portland, Oregon is a beacon for independent music making in the United States. Portland is not musically defined by a single genre but embraces a range of musical communities and ventures. This has allowed Portland musicians to project a set of common values inspired by the social and physical environment of the city. The musicians who flock to the city to record, and the city’s own homegrown talent, share this simple identity, ‘Portlanders’. The music made in Portland is supported by wide-ranging network of facilitators: bookers for venues, music journalists, recording engineers, label owners, record store owners, policymakers and non-for-profit organisations, who lobby and campaign for the changes required to make Portland musically inclusive. This thesis is an ethnographic study of these music-makers and music-facilitators. It shows how the Portland musical community has worked to build and sustain the success of its scene. Drawing on fieldwork conducted between 2013 and 2014, this thesis offers a snapshot of the many relationships integral to the Portland scene, examines the socio-political challenges faced by scene members, and explores how policy-makers have responded to the challenges met by the music sector in the city. In this way, Portland exemplifies the potential of a city to maintain an independent ethos, to nurture its local musical talent, and to meet the challenges of economic and social change.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Music
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > M Music
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 March 2019
Date of Acceptance: 28 March 2020
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2019 16:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/121247

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