M. van den Haak
- ‘Je moet onder aan de ladder beginnen’: distinctie en hiërarchie binnen de klassieke en hedendaagse muziek
- Volume | Issue number
- 8 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
In this paper we explore the distinctive and hierarchical dynamics of a typical field of avant-garde art: contemporary classical music. Researchers on cultural taste and distinction often ignore this genre due to its small following, whereas literature on avant-garde does not focus on consumers. By means of interviews with ten regular visitors of contemporary music and ten regular visitors of classical-romantic music, we investigate with which expectations and criteria both audiences listen to music, whether they distinguish themselves from each other, and how they position both genres in a hierarchical order. Listeners in the first group distinguish themselves from the latter by their open attitude towards unfamiliar music, and their hard work to understand ‘complex’ music. However, they perceive the classical-romantic repertoire as higher on the cultural ladder, due to its canonized status. Hence, various logics of cultural hierarchies can contradict each other, depending on the context in which they are expressed.
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