Bringing the banjo back to life: The field of Dutch independent folk music as participatory culture

  • Niels van Poecke Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • Janna Michael Erasmus University Rotterdam
Keywords: Indie-folk, Music scenes, Participatory culture, DIY, Production of culture

Abstract

In this paper we investigate factors underlying the production of independent folk music (indie folk) in the Netherlands. By studying the creation, distribution and reception of indie folk music through in-depth interviewing, we argue that the social production of indie folk music is affected by a shift towards ‘participatory culture’ brought about by the rise of the Internet and Web 2.0. We note how Web 2.0 helps musicians to educate themselves and to develop careers in music. Secondly, from the perspective of both musicians and gatekeepers, participatory culture links their preferences for participatory aesthetics, decreasing boundaries between creators, distributors and users. Within the idiom of folk music, they distinguish themselves from the mainstream, creating more sincere performances. Thirdly, from the perspective of the audience, fans actively contribute by organizing small-scale events, enabling the audience to establish (trans)local scenes, reframing music as a social experience.

Author Biographies

Niels van Poecke, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Niels van Poecke, MA is a PhD Candidates and Lecturer at the department of Arts and Culture studies, Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Janna Michael, Erasmus University Rotterdam
Janna Michael, MSc. is a PhD Candidates and Lecturer at the department of Arts and Culture studies, Erasmus School of History Culture and Communication, Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
Published
2016-03-04
How to Cite
Poecke, N. van, & Michael, J. (2016). Bringing the banjo back to life: The field of Dutch independent folk music as participatory culture. First Monday. https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v0i0.6385