This article examines the relationship between popular music, memory and cultural identity. It draws upon narrative approaches to memory and identity in order to explore how engagement with music from the past can both afford and constrain identity construction. On the basis of in-depth interviews with, among others, heritage practitioners and audience members, I discuss how practices in the cultural and heritage industries affect the way in which popular music’s past is narrated. Although those narratives offer a sense of belonging and identity through their connection to experiences of time and place, there are also factors that compromise this potential. The article discusses limits to the accuracy of memories and impediments to representations of local diversity. Furthermore, I argue that copyright regulation affects which stories about popular music’s past can be told.

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European Journal of Cultural Studies

van der Hoeven, A. (2018). Narratives of popular music heritage and cultural identity: The affordances and constraints of popular music memories. European Journal of Cultural Studies, 21(2), 207–222. doi:10.1177/1367549415609328