Divided Spaces

The main point I got from the Shian reading was that the different social spaces that bands could play emphasized a certain kind of audience, reception and status. The audience at say, The Meridian Hotel is, according to Shian, quite different from that of a local club where they charge between $2.50-$5 US dollars. There also is a difference in reception, the people at a certain hotel didn’t even dance, the music was just there for entertainment during a buffet dinner. And their status by playing at each of these places was highly socially constructed as in the bands themselves had an idea of what it meant to play at a certain place and the place had an idea of status and where it fell in the rankings as well.

This seems to reflect similarly to the USA places of listening to music, for example the Hollywood bowl is a very different venue than the Los Angeles House of Blues or the Mondrian hotel. However, the author did not talk about the equalizing effect that recordings have on music. Anybody can pick up any recording pretty much, in the USA at least, which reflects a kind of musical democracy that makes the audience, reception and status of the venue all not matter as much as the band themselves. I wish the author had explored this pathway a little more because I wonder if it is different in Dakar/Africa as it is in the USA.


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