Music has deep roots in New York City. The types of music venues and the evolution of genres have helped to shape the city and vice versa throughout history. Music has the ability to influence culture and spread about in unpredictable ways. Mapping specific music genres and venues can help to identify cultural shifts in neighborhoods, how certain types of music influence societal changes and finally could serve to explain why some types of music are more popular than others in certain areas.
As a fluid and evolutionary practice, music can be predictable and unpredictable. Perhaps mapping its movement will help us better understand how and why it moves in certain directions and what changes happen to it along the way. This project seeks to look at different genres of music and track their movement around New York City. By looking at the live music venues that have existed, disappeared and endured over time in conjunction with the artists and political/social structures of their time many things can be learned. The possibility of measuring the influence of live music on a specific area, the impact that public policy may have on the live music industry as well as realizing patterns in musical genres. It would be interesting to see if music venues come and go based on political influences, musical talents and/or economic influences. Furthermore, it would be interesting to see if music venues and genres work in cyclical patterns with regards to what becomes popular and what dies out versus linear patterns where there is constantly new material that indefinitely replaces the old.
This project will look at artists, venues, historical documents as the bases for information as well as take into consideration the various perspectives of those involved within the live music industry from a fan, to a musician to an executive. This multi-dimensional approach will hopefully allow for multiple connections to be made at once. Starting with the genre of Jazz and moving on to other genres such as Rock and Roll and Hip-hop (in time) many of these areas of interest will be tracked and uncovered.