MU$IC: The Economy, Sociology and Practice of Popular Music combines practical skills and theoretical knowledge to create a unique amalgam of academic engagement and hands-on experience. Over the course of 10 weeks, students engage with leading academics on the study of musical cultural, as well as those working in the industry itself, building towards the final project: creating their own “hit” song.

In this minor, a result of a joint effort between staff at the Erasmus University and Codarts University for the Arts, students explore both classic and cutting-edge research on the topic.

The set-up is threefold:

First, students are invited to sociologically engage with the study of popular music’s role in societies from its beginnings in rag time and youth cultures to its contemporary position in 21st Century digital landscape. Key concepts such as genre, scene, identity formation, authentication processes, social and symbolic boundaries, counter- and subcultures, and social inequality based on musical preferences, will be fundamental in this approach.

Second, an economic approach will familiarize students with the functioning of the music industry – both at the level of musicians and global media companies. Students will discuss popular music marketing, law, regulation and technology – particularly in a time of rampant illegal downloading/streaming and DIY music production.

Third, students directly put their knowledge to the test by taking part in the creation process of their own ‘hit’ song and strategy. This is not only a musical objective, but also a project that involves marketing, concept strategizing and creative entrepreneurship. Due to a unique partnership with Codarts University of Arts, teams of students will be coached by well-known contemporary popular music professionals to gain hands-on knowledge within the field of popular music songwriting, production, marketing and distribution.

Listen to some of the recently completed student projects here.

If you’re interested to know more, please visit here, and/or feel free to contact the either of the following:

Julian Schaap (ESHCC): j.schaap@eshcc.eur.nl

Nina Sampermans (Codarts): nsampermans@codarts.nl