Abstract and Keywords
Ethnomusicology, with its related disciplines anthropology and folklore studies, has a long and often difficult history of commercial encounters. This chapter investigates some of these historical case studies, and documents more recent projects that attempt to disseminate information while simultaneously generating capital, often with the ostensible goal of benefiting those whose musical activities provide the primary, and most commercially valuable, content. The intersection of technology, media, and marketing serves as a cultural space where all three factors contribute to the creation, capture, and dissemination of musical traditions transformed into musical products, and cultural practices into individual careers. The author constructs a framework that re-defines “service,” “institutions,” “scholarship,” and “activism” as a nexus of music production and dissemination normally viewed as unrelated, placing the academy within the culture industry, commercial interests as knowledge producers, and music fans as social activists.
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