SOUND SELLERS: HOW MUSICIANS THINK ABOUT, DEFINE, AND MANAGE THE SELLING OF THEIR SOUND
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This research explores how musicians think about, define, and manage the selling of their sound. Using interpretative phenomenological analysis and semi-structured interviews with 10 musicians across different music genres, this study examines how musicians adapt their sound to navigate gatekeepers and by what process this occurs. The findings suggest that musicians take a fluid and nuanced approach to defining, creating, and selling their sound to an array of gatekeepers identified in this study. That is, musicians move fluidly between defining, creating, and selling their sound with each process influencing the others. Additionally, artists have the following three goals in mind when crafting and selling their sound to gatekeepers: uniqueness, popularity, and enjoyment. Each artist has their own unique blend of sound goals which they adapt as needed. This study offers several theoretical insights, including a particularly important one regarding the tensions experienced by musicians in managing the relationships between creativity and commerce. Contrary to the prevailing view regarding the challenges they face in managing that relationship, a major finding of this thesis is that musicians move with ease between the creative and commercial sides of the industry and sometimes occupy both simultaneously.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentEdwards School of Business
CommitteeBourassa, Maureen; Williams, David; Zhang, David; Garcea , Joseph
Copyright DateSeptember 2020