On Thursday 22 March 2018, around 40 NeFCA members, senior and junior academics, students and other interested audience members gathered for the ‘Music, Place and Belonging’ symposium organized at Erasmus University Rotterdam. The event was opened by NeFCA Popular Communication chair Prof.dr. Stijn Reijnders, and moderated by NeFCA member Dr. Leonieke Bolderman.

Three renowned scholars were invited to give a lecture on fundamental questions in current debates about music, place and belonging: how does music contribute to experiences of place, identity and belonging? What role does music play in a world characterized by mobilities in different, often unequally distributed, ways? How can music literally move people?

Starting of the discussion of these questions was professor Tia DeNora of the University of Exeter (UK), who presented her work on the role of music in senses of well-being in the health care sector. Exploring the aural aspects of music further, professor Michelle Duffy from the University of Newcastle (Australia) discussed her work involving children and soundscapes. Professor Cornel Sandvoss from the University of Huddersfield (UK) then took the discussion in a different direction, by highlighting the role of music and music fandom in levels of political engagement.

To address the question what research agendas can follow from these diverging fields of music and place related scholarship, two current research projects on music and place were pitched and discussed. Dr. Janna Michael introduced her recently started project on event space Worm and the Cool neighbourhood. Dr. Arno van der Hoeven pitched his project on live music ecologies, in which he focuses specifically on the role of policy and music venues.

This symposium was made possible with the generous support of the Department of Arts and Culture at Erasmus University Rotterdam, and a grant made available by NeFCA.

Fotograaf: Sander Van Weert