Musicians and Their Audiences – Workshop in London

One-day workshop
Musicians and Their Audiences
King’s College London
Saturday 1 December 2012

The musician/audience dichotomy has served as a constant subject of scrutiny for the sociocultural study of music practices. Both in ‘presentational’ and ‘participatory’ performances (Turino, 2008), the dynamic relationship between performing and being watched/heard has been central to the construction of music genres and identities. Moreover, as music cultures become re-contextualised from local communities to the world stage, and reversely from global scenes to subcultural formations, the dialectics of performance and spectatorship become more complex.

This workshop will address some of the issues arising from the study of the (often turbulent) relationship between musicians and audiences. Potential questions to be considered include:

· How do musicians verbally conceptualise and assess audiences and their participation in the performance?

· How are audiences’ views of musicians influenced by the scale and popularity of a certain music scene, the music genre, and the mode of participation?

· Are questions of knowledge and authenticity still important for the nature of this conceptual division? How do they relate to institutionalised or informal education, and dualisms of ‘commercial success’ vs. ‘artistic integrity’?

· How does the performance venue and its sonic/spatial arrangements enhance or prohibit the musician-audience relationship?

· What is the impact of the current economy on attendance at live performances, and what kinds of strategies do musicians and entrepreneurs employ in order to attract or maintain audiences?

· How do electronic technologies facilitate the emergence of new modes of spectatorship and participation, and do they reinforce or challenge the musician/audience division?

We invite contributions from the areas of musicology, ethnomusicology, popular music studies and other related fields. 200-word abstracts can be sent to the organisers by 1 July 2012.


Dr. Ioannis Tsioulakis, University College Cork (

Dr. Elina Hytönen, University of Eastern Finland (