Reflections on the Challenges of Exhibiting Popular Music at the Beginning of the 21st Century through a Case Study ‘A Magia do Vinyl’

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Abstract

This paper sets out to reflect on the implications of the heritagisation of popular music by museums. ‘Heritage’ is not something that holds intrinsic value but rather represents a social construction that produces difference by adding value to specific objects within particular social dynamics. This means that heritagisation processes operant in museums prove highly susceptible to ideological distortion and hence require scrutiny. Studying the case of the Portuguese exhibition A Magia do Vinil, a Música que Mudou a Sociedade, I analyse two specific domains: the concepts and the narrative deployed to address popular music discursively; and the objects selected for exhibition, in conjunction with the interactive practices they foster with audiences. This case study demonstrates how popular music heritagisation practices may largely correspond with those approaches taken by conventional art exhibitions – not only through the uncritical discourses they reproduce concerning their subject matter, but also through the idea that vision is the means for engaging museumgoers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-392
Number of pages22
JournalPopular Music
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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