White, Avron (1983) Convention and constraint in the operation of musical groups: two case studies. Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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The purpose of this thesis is to explore the ways in which Howard Becker's notions of convention and constraint operate in the functioning of selected musical groups. In particular, areas under investigation include the interrelated networks of media, venues, and support personnel, as well as the aesthetic criteria and commercial objectives of the individual musical groups. The investigation begins with an autobiographical description of my musical background with details of personal and musical involvement as a participant observer in this project. Discussion continues with an evaluation of several theoretical approaches to the study of musical sounds, culture and groups. Subsequently I present preliminary fieldwork studies and a description of my general findings in terms of Music-related factors and Non-Musical factors. This leads to a detailed discussion of the basic research design used in the two case studies. The first case study investigates a professional jazz group engagement in Switzerland. This chapter establishes the major parameters of the research design. The chapters which follow investigate additional factors that are incorporated in the research design. These factors include: the law of contract, management of artists, and the songwriting process. The final chapter is devoted to the case study of a semi-professional rock band which takes into account, over a period of years, the effects of personnel change, musical change, developing consciousness of the legal aspects of the music business and various attempts at establishing a professional musical career. Finally, the thesis concludes with a summary discussion of the entire research project and a critique of the research design.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Criminology and Sociology
Contributors: Frankenberg, Ronald (Thesis advisor)
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2019 12:50
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2019 12:50
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/7170

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