Author(s): Simon Frith
Organisation / Affiliation: Scottish Music Review 1:1, 2007
Economists and sociologists of music have long argued that the live music sector must lose out in the competition for leisure expenditure with the ever increasing variety of mediated musical goods and experiences. In the last decade, though, there is evidence that live music in the UK is one of the most buoyant parts of the music economy. In examining why this should be so this paper is divided into two parts. In the first Frith describes why and how live music remains an essential part of the music industry’s money making strategies. In the second he speculates about the social functions of performance by examining three examples of performance as entertainment: karaoke, tribute bands and the Pop Idol phenomenon. These are, Frith suggests, examples of secondary performance, which illuminate the social role of the musical performer in contemporary society.