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Since the 1970s, there has been a rich, global lineage of broadly guitar-based music scenes which have enacted a political critique of the commercial music industries under the banner of ‘DIY’. DIY music practice has involved taking control of production and distribution processes and lowering barriers to participation and performance, as a form of cultural resistance. In DIY Music and the Politics of Social Media (Bloomsbury, 2020), Ellis Jones analyses the effects of the internet and social media on the inner lives and the communal music-making of practitioners in contemporary DIY music scenes.
Jones provides a nuanced and original reading of the points of convergence and (substantial) divergence between the emancipatory and participatory rhetoric of digital platforms and the ethical imperatives of DIY music, past and present. He argues that the imperatives toward self-branding, commodification and individualization that are baked into the affordances of social media are fundamentally inimical to the convivial, oppositional politics of DIY music. As digital platforms seep into and mediate more and more facets of everyday life, this book underscores the need for a renewed critique of the conditions of cultural production – and offers valuable points of departure for forms of culturally resistant DIY musicking in the 21st Century.
Ellis Jones is a Lecturer in Music and Management in the Department of Music at the University of Leeds.
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