Simone Driessen: Localized Music Histories and their Significance to Audiences (2012-2016)

Simone Driessen | research: part of the international, HERA funded research project Popular Music Heritage, Cultural Memory and Cultural Identity (POPiD) Erasmus University Rotterdam, department of Media & Communication (from the Erasmus School of History, Culture & Communication) | supervisor: Prof. dr. Susanne Janssen and dr. Jiska Engelbert |  September 2011- September 2016 | driessen[at]eshcc[dot]eur[dot]nl

My dissertation is entitled ‘Localized Music Histories and their Significance to Audiences’, and the main aim of the project is to research ‘how music-related narratives constructed by various audiences relate to questions of cultural identity, cultural memory and popular music heritage’. In four qualitative case studies I explore and analyze how different audiences (ranging from ‘a general audience’ to ‘fans’) negotiate their connectedness to popular music and how this relates to their everyday lives. The concepts of cultural identity, cultural memory and popular music heritage serve as common threads throughout my thesis. The first case study focuses on how music from one’s regional roots is of importance in one’s cultural identity construction and what role it plays in the creation of (collective) memories. The second case study explores the cultural memories of aging gabbers, specifically in relation to their involvement and participation (attachment and detachment) in the local scene of Rotterdam. My further studies will continue focusing on ‘aging minds’ by researching how ‘post-youth’ produce meanings of the (current) revival (or survival in some cases) of music they grew up with (e.g. re-uniting boy- and girl-bands from the late ‘90s). Certain music and fandoms can become (ir)relevant to one’s cultural identity at specific times; this leaves unaddressed the important question of how these fans currently give meaning to their fan-being and what we can learn from this in relation to cultural identity, memory and popular music heritage.