The Heritagisation of Popular Music: Current Practices and New Challenges

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In recent years, there have been several social and cultural developments that have encouraged an understanding of popular music as intangible heritage by museums worldwide - most of all is the ratification by UNESCO of its Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2003. Meanwhile, the digital revolution in the music industry has simultaneously motivated very current debates on the ethical, aesthetical and philosophical dimensions to sound-related phenomena within the realms of several overlapping academic fields, such as science and technology studies, and, most significantly, popular music studies, ethnomusicology, and sound studies. Within this framework, museums and temporary exhibitions specifically assigned to the subject of popular music have started to develop around the world. As to the scholarly reflections about these initiatives, in general terms they clearly demonstrate its discursive routes to lack representational adequacy when posed in the light of the research stemming from anthropology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies and sound studies. In this paper, I will provide an overview of the current practice of the popular music heritagisation across three main parameters of discussion - the representation of the phenomena; the museum relationship with its visitors; and the exhibiting practices – and will tentatively envision further avenues for the practice to become of heightened cultural and social relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSymposium The Future of Heritafe 2016: Strategy, Values and Impact - Brighton, United Kingdom
Duration: 20 Oct 201621 Oct 2016


ConferenceSymposium The Future of Heritafe 2016: Strategy, Values and Impact
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


  • Popular Music
  • Heritage
  • Current Practices


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