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A walk in the wind: How the DIY artist disregards cultural norms
British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) (2009)
  • Paul G. Oliver, University of Bolton

Over the last 50 years the dominance of the major records companies (Majors) such as EMI and Sony BMG has had a huge impact on the music industries in terms of creative output as well as wealth distribution. However, despite this dominance the local music scenes continue to thrive and grow significantly in the UK. New creative technologies have helped the DIY artist to build specific local-type networks on a global scale, now known as 'glocalisation'. Furthermore, this dominant force has been a catalyst for a complex counter-culture within local music communities.

The do-it-yourself (DIY) ethic first came to light in British popular culture with the inception of punk in the late 1970s. The DIY artist is significantly different to the Major artist, as their work is based on self-reliance by making the most of the technical, business or creative resources at-hand. The DIY artist achieves this through self-learning related to how the materials at their disposal can be used to maximum affect in order to develop creative ideas. The adoption of such materials enable DIY artists to have artistic and managerial control over their music. Moreover, the DIY ethic has made sustained communities more viable to the extent that could ultimately condemn Majors in the future. New technologies offer the opportunities to develop clustered communities, which transcend geographical, economic or social boundaries.

The aim of this paper is to explain how DIY artists disregard many aspects of popular music culture in favour of their own strong beliefs based on creative integrity and identity.

  • DIY,
  • Music,
  • New Technologies,
  • Glocalisation
Publication Date
Spring April 18, 2009
Citation Information
Paul G. Oliver. "A walk in the wind: How the DIY artist disregards cultural norms" British Forum for Ethnomusicology (BFE) (2009)
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