Community Well-Being, Post-Industrial Music Cities and the Turn to Popular Music Heritage

Sarah Baker, Raphael Nowak, Paul Long, Jez Collins, Zelmarie Cantillon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (Book)Researchpeer-review


This chapter questions how a turn to popular music heritage can be an important strategy for reinstating a sense of well-being for disenfranchised communities in post-industrial music cities. Focusing primarily on the case study of Birmingham (UK), we analyse popular music heritage initiatives deployed by the Birmingham Music Archive and reflect on the benefits of heritage to the local community beyond the rhetoric of local councils in pursuit of economic advantage. By exploring how well-being can be enhanced through community participation in local popular music heritage initiatives, we suggest that the ‘music city’ concept can be enriched by incorporating the actual effects of a turn to music in the rebranding of a city and how this is experienced by the local community. This chapter also highlights how the heritage sector, and in particular the community heritage sector, can make significant contributions to the making of the music city in ways that benefit local communities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMusic Cities
Subtitle of host publicationEvaluating a Global Cultural Policy Concept
EditorsChristina Ballico, Alan Watson
Place of PublicationCham Switzerland
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9783030358723
ISBN (Print)9783030358716
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameNew Directions in Cultural Policy Research


  • Popular Music
  • Music heritage
  • Community Wellbeing
  • Urban regeneration
  • music policy

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