[Air-L] dissertation announcement

Meryl Krieger meryl.krieger at gmail.com
Wed Jan 13 05:43:29 PST 2010

Hi all:

Just wanted to announce that my dissertation, "Rough to the Board: Creating
Performance in American Recording Studios" has been filed with ProQuest. For
those of you interested in the American popular music recording industry,
you can download it for free from ProQuest as soon as it's available (within
the next couple weeks I anticipate). In the meantime, here's the abstract.
If any of you want a copy before ProQuest makes it available, please email
me off-list and I'll send you a copy. This, by the way, contains my much
delayed gender bibliography for those of you who asked for it!

Regards, Meryl

Janet Meryl Krieger


This dissertation examines the dynamics between performers in the process of
creating popular music recordings as they emerge in recording studios, using
the synergy created by the blending of two approaches: the traditional
model, followed by major labels and larger independent labels, and the
do-it-yourself (DIY) model, followed by individual performers and smaller
independent labels. Taking a participant-observational approach in fieldwork
done from 2002 to 2006, this project presents two case studies that focus on
two women singer-songwriters, who differ by age, region, and ethnicity. The
case studies chronicle these women’s first recorded CD projects as they
composed, rehearsed, performed, and recorded in two mid-sized professional
studios in Bloomington, Indiana. The two models, traditional and DIY,
intersect in the recording studio, creating a synergy that allows performers
to realize their artistic ideals on a recorded CD. The intersection of these
two models in the recording studio has not to date ever been taken as a
framework for the ethnographic study of popular music production.

The dissertation roughly divides into two sections. The first lays out the
theoretical and ethnographic frame, situating the data within several
fields: ethnomusicology and musicology, new media research, performance
studies, and gender scholarship. The second section examines specific
recording sessions and interviews to highlight issues raised by the
intersection of traditional and DIY modes of music production. It then
examines the issues themselves, framing them within the larger concerns of
gender, age and race; power dynamics, authority, and the role of expertise;
technology and its mediation; and the negotiating role of humor. It then
explores how the role of genre reframes during postproduction the music
produced in recording sessions, particularly when performers begin touring
to market their recordings.

Methodology for data collection included observation of a range of recording
sessions, from initial rough tracks through final mixes, and observation of
performances preceding and separating recording sessions. Formal and
informal interviews were conducted with the principals, their recording
engineer-producers, and most of their bandmates.

J. Meryl Krieger
Ph.D., Folklore & Ethnomusicology
Lab Consultant, Teaching and Learning Technology Center, Indiana University
Adjunct Instructor, Ivy Tech Community College
kriegerj at indiana.edu

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