keskiviikko 18. marraskuuta 2009

EU and peripheral cultural (musical) politices and policies

EU and peripheral cultural (musical) politices and policies A proposal for a doctoral thesis (draft b, spring 2004)
 Basis for international referee article/articles, some of the following themes would be discussed:

Special characteristics of the cultural politics in Lapland (as a case of peripheral/local but internationally acclaimed cultural institutions)
 centralised but de-centralising
 what is the political motive of localised cultural politics? Education?
 why does the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland play in primary school halls?
 compare with the cultural politics in Sweden, Norway

EU and periphery politics
 e.g. the Eurovision song contest: new countries (or peripheries), like Latvia, have been shown some cultural/political sympathy
 new member countries in the EU; some of them are traditional musical centres, but politically/economically quite peripheral in the European context
Theories of peripheries
 orchestras/other musical institutions in other peripheral European areas
 traditional centres with a national tradition and symphonic composers of their own: Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Prague Philharmonic, the London Orchestras
 have been challenged with progressive programming choices lately
 centres with no strong orchestral tradition: Paris, Italy (opera instead)
 semi-peripheries (or peripheries of the centres): Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Schleswig-Holstein, local BBC orchestras (Scottish orchestra plays lots of local music)
 new musical centres, or new semi-peripheries with a tradition of their own: Toulouse
 peripheries: Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg, Oslo, Iceland
 traditional peripheries: Barcelona, Oulu, Jyväskylä
 peri-peripheries: Lohja, Kuhmo, other local orchestras in Finland, Umeå, Bergen
 peri-peripheries: local orchestras with a profile of their own: Vantaa, Rovaniemi. Do they have a special local mission or are they nationally/internationally orientated?
 new peripheries: Petroskoi, Archangel
 new peripheries/old centres: Prague, Budapest, Warsaw

Why is it advantageous to show up as a patron of culture (or sports)?
 Ilkka Kanerva, Tanja Karpela, Matti Ahde, Suvi Lindén, Silvio Berlusconi comp. with Lennart Meri, Vaclav Havel

Music sociology: the traditions from musicology or sociology. Musicological tradition has as its starting point the institutions of music making, sociology is mostly concentrated in audience research.
 Sociology of music: is here established

Programming policies
 theories of postmodernism; crossover
 choice of what is being performed; decided by whom, which are the motives?

Political will:
 why is music considered to be of central importance in Finland (not other arts); the national myth of “Sauna, sisu, Sibelius”
 since 1960s music institutions, conservatories have expanded in Finland but also elsewhere
 the general professional level and quantity of musicians has expanded
 new generation of conservatory-raised musicians have occupied the local orchestras
 the musical standard of local orchestras has improved considerably
 little later: more local orchestras have been founded

Local, National and International Interpretations of the Importance of a Local Cultural Institute and Reception of Challenging Programming

Research Proposal for a Doctoral Thesis -
Local, National and International Interpretations of the Importance of a Local Cultural Institute and Reception of Challenging Programming - Case the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland

Spring, 2004

Music is a commodity of a special kind. It is immaterial by nature, although it can be obtained by buying material objects like recordings. In this study, I will try to sort out the logic how people do consume music as a cultural and a service product. What is special in this case, how do music critics worldwide, nationally and locally react to the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland, as it is a local institute having become famous for its attempts to cross over the traditional definitions of musical genres. As a starting point, I try to solve out if the audience’ choice is conservative or tolerant of challenging concert programs, and whether this same approach to culture also applies to music critics. I will also develop the theoretical concepts of symbolic consumption and imaginary groups. The original idea of this study is accepted at the University of Helsinki; also some contacts with Sibelius Academy have been taken.

Culture can be seen as a service product (by Kolb 2000, pages 136-141): it is a convenience product, a comparison product and a speciality product.

There are external factors influencing consumer choice (Kolb 2000, pages 123-130); according to Kolb such as education, ethnic culture, reference groups, family and social class. Then there are motivators that might be called as “internal” reasons for attendance, mentioned by Kolb (pages 107-110) e.g. leisure and entertainment, social ritual and self-improvement, or likeas divided in a survey conducted in France internal factors influencing cultural choices can be divided into three main groups: educational motives: cultural “meat”, learning from the performance, intellectual stimulation: personal development, an intellectual challenge and pleasure: social, interaction, communication (Bouder-Pailler 1999)

This division of external and internal motivators stresses out the notion that consumer choice of musical products is deeply a social venture practiced, determined, renewed, constructed and produced by individual consumer choices. It goes both ways; of course also the choice and the possibility the choose is determined by the available cultural products.

The quantitative aspect of the cultural consuming and participation can be tackled through different cultural statistics. Some comparative studies based on this data are already being made; in the study I use here included were Ireland, Scotland and Finland because of the comparable population scale, Northern Ireland, Wales, England because of similarity in language, norms, administration and France because it is a model country in cultural activity and expenditure. Following indicators were then used: aggregate attendance in arts events, patterns of attendance at selected arts events, ownership of items of consumer electronics, use of home-based technology as a means of accessing the arts for selected artforms, participation in amateur activities and attitudes to the arts (Clancy 1999, 223-244; in the book edited by Fitzgibbon&Kelly).

My aim is to have a picture of the logic and evaluation process of social appreciations and cultural classifications that define the consumer’s social position in the field of collecting music and to try to define the factors influencing cultural choices, both individually and socially. In my master’s thesis I claimed that so-called crossover is not easy to apprehend and locate by the music journalists, as they usually are specialists, specialised in one musical genre.

My method will consist of getting familiar with all the relevant cultural statistics and audience research, and then perhaps test by preliminary hypothesis by interviewing attendants of musical events and musical directors. I will also try to have a picture of the musical product as a species of industrially produced and marketed mass entertainment but also as a individual lifestyle-orientated but popularly marketed package of experience. I also have to find all the possible material written about the Chamber Orchestra of Lapland; also articles helping the conseptualisation of the concept crossover.


From Maestro to Manager. Critical Issues in Arts&Culture Management. Oak Tree Press, Dublin in association with Graduate School of Business&University College Dublin. 1997; Reprinted in 1999. Edited by Anne Fitzgibbon & Anne Kelly

KOLB, Bonita M. (2000): Marketing Cultural Organisations. New Strategies for Attracting Audiences to Classical Music, Dance, Museums, Theatre and Opera. Oak Tree Press, Dublin 2000.

PERUKANGAS, Michael (1998): Musiikkiarvostelut - politiikkaa vai tiedettä. A master’s thesis in sociology, University of Helsinki.