Black Stars or Black Holes? Cities as Sites for Verticality in Popular Black Music Production

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Abstract:

The popular Black music genre has been a principal feature of the US recorded music industry, instrumental for creativity, innovation and for the long-term cyclical patterns of growth, change and sustainability within this vital cultural products industry. Urban locations have acted as the central terrains for music production, industry corporate ownership, music distribution and consumption. Cities constitute the sites for verticality in music production; they function as both artistic centres of creative expression and as sites of industrial production of musical products via recording and processing music for mass distribution. This paper analyses the interlinked, changing spatial-geographic, social and cultural variables, patterns and relations that comprise Black musical genres within the US music industry, rectifying the conspicuous neglect of the critical role of urban space and of the location of Black music production in the musical recording business.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2148/benv.2005.31.3.208

Publication date: September 1, 2005

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  • Built Environment is published quarterly in March, June, September and December. With an emphasis on crossing disciplinary boundaries and providing global perspective, each issue focuses on a single subject of contemporary interest to practitioners, academics and students working in a wide range of disciplines. Issues are guest-edited by established international experts who not only commission contributions, but also oversee the peer-reviewing process in collaboration with the Editors.

    Subject areas include: architecture; conservation; economic development; environmental planning; health; housing; regeneration; social issues; spatial planning; sustainability; urban design; and transport. All issues include reviews of recent publications.

    The journal is abstracted in Geo Abstracts, Sage Urban Studies Abstracts, and Journal of Planning Literature, and is indexed in the Avery Index to Architectural Publications.
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