How musical was my valley? Exploring resources and relationships in local popular music-making between 1996 and 2006

  • Anne Cleaton University of East Anglia
Keywords: music communities, local music history, music ethnography

Abstract

Influenced by the work of Howard Becker and Ruth Finnegan, this article incorporates an ethnographicapproach combined with concepts from social network theory to investigate the historicalimpacts of 'musical networks' on the town of Aberdare, between 1996 and 2006. Focusingspecifically on the local music scene, via a series of interviews, the article uncovers various strategicconnections between the conventions and understandings of the musical community,such as generationally passing down information, musical tastes and values, and local musicalhierarchies. After briefly describing the positioning and social construction of Aberdare withinthe Welsh Valleys, the article proceeds to investigate the motivations of the community to participatein popular music, in addition to the historical significance of material resources such astransport links, venues and rehearsal rooms.

Author Biography

Anne Cleaton, University of East Anglia

Anne Cleaton is a PhD student at the University ofEast Anglia. Her research interests focus on areas ofsocio-musicology, music ethnography and qualitativenetwork theory. Anne is also an experienced musicianand studied classical guitar and music performance atthe Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In addition toher research commitments Anne runs a private musicteaching practice in South Wales and is an examiner forthe popular music exam board RSL Awards.

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Published
2020-01-24
How to Cite
Cleaton, A. (2020). How musical was my valley? Exploring resources and relationships in local popular music-making between 1996 and 2006. Popular Music History, 12(1), 94-111. https://doi.org/10.1558/pomh.39560