This study examines the legitimation of local music. Critics from peripheral countries such as the Netherlands tend to focus on foreign music products. However, the rising popularity among ‘omnivorous’ audiences and increased production of Dutch music, together with the competition in the Dutch media landscape for readers, might lead Dutch elite newspapers to increase their coverage of local music. These media are cultural intermediaries who signal the legitimation of music. Local genres thus might succeed in establishing themselves, but little is known about this process. This research therefore studies – through a quantitative and qualitative content analysis – the legitimation of three, traditionally illegitimate, genres: volksmuziek, dance and hip-hop/rap music. The findings suggest that the latter two genres indeed gain legitimacy. Genres are classified by the criteria of authenticity and originality. When products fail to meet these criteria, the media attention is legitimized by their popularity, instead of their artistic value.

, , , , , , , , , , ,,
Cultural Sociology
Erasmus University Rotterdam

Koreman, R. (2014). Legitimating Local Music: Volksmuziek, Hip-Hop/Rap and Dance Music in Dutch Elite Newspapers. Cultural Sociology, 8(4), 501–519. doi:10.1177/1749975514546364