High Culture as Subculture : Brisbane's Contemporary Chamber Music Scene

Burgess, Jean E. (2004) High Culture as Subculture : Brisbane's Contemporary Chamber Music Scene. Masters by Research thesis, The University of Queensland.

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The aim of the dissertation is to discover the extent to which methodologies and conceptual frameworks used to understand popular culture may also be useful in the attempt to understand contemporary high culture. The dissertation addresses this question through the application of subculture theory to Brisbane’s contemporary chamber music scene, drawing on a detailed case study of the contemporary chamber ensemble Topology and its audiences. The dissertation begins by establishing the logic and necessity of applying cultural studies methodologies to contemporary high culture. This argument is supported by a discussion of the conceptual relationships between cultural studies, high culture, and popular culture, and the methodological consequences of these relationships. In Chapter 2, a brief overview of interdisciplinary approaches to music reveals the central importance of subculture theory, and a detailed survey of the history of cultural studies research into music subcultures follows. Five investigative themes are identified as being crucial to all forms of contemporary subculture theory: the symbolic; the spatial; the social; the temporal; the ideological and political. Chapters 3 and 4 present the findings of the case study as they relate to these five investigative themes of contemporary subculture theory. Chapter 5 synthesises the findings of the previous two chapters, and argues that while participation in contemporary chamber music is not as intense or pervasive as is the case with the most researched street-based youth subcultures, it is nevertheless possible to describe Brisbane’s contemporary chamber music scene as a subculture. The dissertation closes by reflecting on the ways in which the subcultural analysis of contemporary chamber music has yielded some insight into the lived practices of high culture in contemporary urban contexts.

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ID Code: 28527
Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Research)
Refereed: No
Additional URLs:
Keywords: music scenes, subculture, chamber music, Queensland, audience engagement, consumption, cultural studies
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > LANGUAGES COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE (200000) > CULTURAL STUDIES (200200)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Past > Institutes > Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation
Institution: The University of Queensland
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2004 Jean Burgess
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2009 03:50
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 14:08

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