Live Music Exchange Resources

What Can Participation in the Practice of Folk Music Teach Us About Participation in the Arts More Widely? – A Report for the AHRC – Katriona Holmes (2014)


Author(s): Katriona Holmes
Publisher: Arts and Humanities Research Council

This report explores the meaning of the term ‘arts participation’ and considers how participation is understood and supported in the UK. It does so by looking at some of the ways that people participate in British folk music, both formally and informally, and considers the implications of this for enhancing arts participation in the UK.

The main source of this report is personal observation, and experience from my the author’s background as organiser and promoter of the Knockengorroch World Ceilidh music festival in Scotland. It also draws comparisons with modes of participation across a number of styles of music in Zanzibar, Tanzania, which the author visited visited in February 2014, attending a celebrated festival of African music, Sauti za Busara.

The conclusions  build on recent perspectives and research on cultural participation in the UK, and consider what the concept can incorporate, and the implications of this for how we value music in a formal and informal context.

Click here to read or download the report

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