Musical Urbanism offers a forum to think about three questions:

1. How do cities sustain creative milieux and cultural movements?

2. How are cities and the urban condition represented in art and popular culture?

3. What’s local (to a city, neighborhood, group) in any given art form or cultural movement?

Popular music is as good an example as any other in which to pose these questions. It’s better, in fact, since music provokes excitement, individual interpretations, and debate, all of which I encourage. I don’t expect reaching definitive answers here, but only hypotheses, reflections, elaborations, tangents, and further questions. I also anticipate there will be posts about just music or just urban stuff.

Musical Urbanism is inspired by a seminar I’ve taught at Vassar College in 2007,2008, and most recently in 2011. Thanks to my brilliant co-teachers, Heesok Chang and Hua Hsu.

Image credits:

Capitol Hill Block Party 2008 by deejayres.

Partytunnel by cosmonautirussi.

notting hill carnival 2006 by rootskontrolla.

Reproduced and modified respectfully via Creative Commons.