Why Don’t We Appreciate Local Music, And Why We Should

When something is wedded into the fabric of everyday life, we ignore the systems that create, sustain and support it. The same cognitive dissonance is occurring with music and culture. When you hear a song that moves you, it’s about that moment with that song, not the recording, production and marketing functions that led to that moment happening. But without these systems and practices, those moments disappear; that tap runs dry. Music, like any other resource, is not infinite. If we do not teach, invest and support it, it disappears. Given music is our universal language – we all speak it – it must be better understood for its capabilities to support, sustain and improve communities around the world. This is happening in cities all over the world. It’s the merging of planning, resource management, resilience and intentionality around music, called music urbanism.

As an industry, music grew by 9.7% last year, fueled by the rise in streaming. Goldman Sachs research argues it will more than double by 2030, to more than $131 billion by 2030. It is omnipresent in our cities, towns and places, wherever we live. From baby namings to bar mitzvahs, communions to quinceaneras, even the adhan call to prayer, music is everywhere. Over the past decade, a growing number of cities are recognizing that in order to maximize the economic, social and cultural value of music, it must be considered in land use, regeneration, tourism, education and economic-development policies. This emerging field has created a new moniker – music cities – for places that think about music in policy, rather than simply enjoy it in practice. And those cities are creating this new music urbanism. Full story.

Shain Shapiro (OffBeat Magazine) / November 26, 2019

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