Cultural and artistic citizenship in classical music

Book chapter


Wimmer, C. and Dromey, C. 2023. Cultural and artistic citizenship in classical music. in: Dromey, C. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology New York Routledge. pp. 108–118
Chapter titleCultural and artistic citizenship in classical music
AuthorsWimmer, C. and Dromey, C.
Abstract

To write about citizenship and music in the wake of a pandemic that turned the entire cultural scene upside down is to give the subject an unnervingly new and topical significance. The events of early 2020 abruptly uprooted the assumptions and working practices of concert organisers, musicians, and everyone involved in classical music and music-making at large. No one at the time could predict what the future would hold; indeed, much uncertainty remains. What will the long-term cultural effects of the pandemic be? Will audience numbers recover? Can any positive lessons be learned from the emergency measures that were introduced, such as the fast-tracked adoption of live-streaming or how the industries were forced to pay more than lip service to health and hygiene? Often, remembering history can help answer contemporary questions; a search for comparable cultural crises, in order to learn from past recoveries. Today’s contexts may be new, but the precarities that venues, orchestras, and their musicians face, and the anxiety many feel about the future, are not. Similarly, perceptions from within these industries were already generally pessimistic before the pandemic. In Europe, at least, scepticism of political establishments that have long taken the music industries for granted goes hand in hand with a financially oriented brand of public discourse, in which the industries’ economic “contribution” (e.g. to GDP) and needs (e.g. subsidies) leave little room for appreciating how art and culture can meaningfully improve people’s lives. Adopting a
more sanguine approach, this chapter contends that musicians, musicologists, curators, and administrators
can, and should, build new communities of practice as they seek answers to these questions. The interrelation of music and society, and of art and commerce, means that much of what we cover will be relevant to all musical genres. However, our specific focus is classical music, whose identity and practices have long been scrutinised, from within and outwith, in light of modern thinking
about audience engagement and sociocultural trends at large. By outlining connections between classical music and two forms of citizenship - cultural and artistic - the chapter recognises that much work has already taken place to enact change while preserving what makes the genre identifiable and, indeed, unique. In this context, the special integrative abilities of music mediators warrant some initial attention. As we shall see, they have forged three paths to establish new relationships between music, its performance, and audiences: conceiving new workshops and partnerships, especially those designed with younger listeners in mind; rethinking concert formats in order to locate and engage adult audiences, who rarely come into contact with classical concert repertoire; and collaborating with other cultural organisations to create new possibilities for sharing musical experiences, for example bridging the professional/amateur divide through community orchestras and other projects beyond the concert hall. This chapter addresses how and why such innovations are underway, and will inexorably continue, as classical music faces
up to the challenges of cultural democratisation this century. Among these responses, we include our own efforts to rethink how classical music is mediated, as the final third of the chapter will explain.

Sustainable Development Goals9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure
Middlesex University ThemeCreativity, Culture & Enterprise
Research GroupMusic group
LanguageEnglish
Page range108–118
Book titleThe Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology
EditorsDromey, C.
PublisherRoutledge
Place of publicationNew York
SeriesRoutledge Music Companions
ISBN
Hardcover9780367488246
Electronic9781003042983
Paperback9780367488253
Copyright Year2024
Publication dates
Online18 Sep 2023
Print19 Sep 2023
Publication process dates
AcceptedJul 2023
Deposited10 Oct 2023
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
All rights reserved
Web address (URL)https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Companion-to-Applied-Musicology/Dromey/p/book/9780367488246
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003042983-13
Related Output
Is part ofThe Routledge Companion to Applied Musicology
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