Even though the term ‘the Music Industry’ is used as if industrialised music is a social and cultural fact, there is a parallel and contradictory cultural resistance to music’s implication with industry.
The co-existence of resistance to, and yet comparatively casual acceptance of, the idea that there is a ‘music industry’ is a barrier to analysis because in neither accounts are the working relations between musicians and music companies specified.
The term ‘the Music Industry’ is a problematic one and its use needs to be supplemented by application of ‘the music industries’ and ‘music industry’ when and where appropriate. Further the music industry is not to be confused with or reduced to ‘the recording industry’.
There is major digitally driven change across the music industries but there are underlying continuities that continue to give music an industrial character.
These continuities involve the relations that exist between music companies, musicians, music users, music and music markets but the ‘industrial character’ of music must be sought in the inter-relations between music companies and musicians.
The inter-relations between musicians and music companies are a form of production relations. Rather than consider their actions separately, it is of greater analytical benefit to consider how the actions of one party bears on another in a joint effort that results in the production of symbolic goods in music.
KeywordsMusic Performance Popular Music Music Industry Industrial Character Recording Industry
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.