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1-2-3-4! Measuring the values of live music: methods, models and motivations

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Adam Behr



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


This paper sets out to compare different methodologies for measuring the value(s) of live popular music, and to explore the different motivations amongst a range of organisations engaged in that work. We analyse how the values of live music are measured, who does it and why. Based on this analysis we present a model that visualizes the myriad of organisations, methods, aims and objectives involved. We identify three approaches to measuring the impact of live music (economic impact studies, mapping and censuses, and social sciences and humanities) and three types of actors (industry, policy and academia). The analysis of these demonstrates that measuring live music is not a neutral activity, but itself constructs a vision on how live music ecologies function. For cultural organisations, demonstrating the outcomes of their work is important in acquiring various forms of support. The model presented in this paper helps them to select adequate methodologies and to reflect on the consequences of particular approaches to measuring live music activities. While the number of studies measuring live music’s impact is growing, theoretical and methodological reflection on these activities is missing. We compare the different methodologies by discussing strengths and weaknesses. This results in a model that identifies gaps in existing studies and explores new directions for future live music research. It enhances understanding of how different ways of measuring live music affect policymaking and conceptions of what live music is and should be.

Publication metadata

Author(s): van der Hoeven A, Behr A, Hamilton C, Mulder M, Rozbicka P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Arts and the Market

Year: 2021

Volume: 11

Issue: 2

Print publication date: 01/09/2021

Online publication date: 26/02/2021

Acceptance date: 22/01/2021

Date deposited: 03/02/2021

ISSN (print): 2056-4945

ISSN (electronic): 2056-4953

Publisher: Emerald Publishing Limited


DOI: 10.1108/AAM-09-2020-0041


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Funder referenceFunder name
... [grant number 314-99-202, research programme Smart Culture - Arts and Culture]
Staging Popular Music: Researching Sustainable Live Music Ecologies for Artists, Music Venues and Cities (POPLIVE) established by ...
the Dutch Research Council (NWO) and the Taskforce for Applied Research (NRPO-SIA) ...