From Home-Studios to Mobile Phones

Recent Trends in Popular Music Recording and Sharing in Papua New Guinea


  • Oli Wilson Massey University



popular music, Papua New Guinea, recording, online music, mobile phone, laptop


This article explores changes in home-based recording contexts in Papua New Guinea to highlight the ways that digital recording and communication technologies become embedded in localized social practices. It seeks to contribute to the emerging discourse in ethnomusicology about new technologies, local agency and cultural diversity. The research is informed by ethnography undertaken with urban music producers, and explores the impact of mobile phonebased music sharing, as well as the dissemination of music through social media. The article problematizes notions of homogenization in the context of indigenous music recording practices, and contributes to an emerging discourse on musical cultures in the Pacific that positions local popular music as a constituent part of local social relations. I conclude by considering how technological disruptions represent new possibilities for understanding the ways that cultures embed technologies in the context of music recording and production.

Author Biography

Oli Wilson, Massey University

Oli Wilson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Music and Creative Media Production at Massey University, Wellington. His main area of research is music in Oceania, and he specializes in the recording industry and popular music cultures in Papua New Guinea.


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How to Cite

Wilson, O. (2019). From Home-Studios to Mobile Phones: Recent Trends in Popular Music Recording and Sharing in Papua New Guinea. Journal of World Popular Music, 6(2), 133–150.




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