Hochschulseminar – Stadt und Rock 'n' Roll
Music and Urban Geography (Adam Krims)
Ganes Dzikri Pepundi Santosa, 27.11.2023
Music and urban geography share a symbiotic relationship, intertwining physical, cultural, and social aspects within cities. Urban spaces serve as vital stages for musical expressions, reflecting and shaping identities, communities, and social hierarchies.

Public perceptions of cities, often influenced by cultural representations, establish what is known as the urban ethos. Notably, cities like New York City and Los Angeles heavily influence this ethos. Cultural depictions of urban life shape public expectations and influence urban planning and design.

Western Anglophone popular music presents varied representations of the city, evoking positive or negative emotional responses. Positive cathexes highlight the vibrancy and opportunities of urban environments, while negative ones critique social issues and inequalities. These representations evolve over time, mirroring changing attitudes and social dynamics within urban settings.

Music profoundly influences how cities are perceived and experienced. Acting as a cultural force, music captures the essence and identity of cities through diverse genres and sounds. It reflects urban identity, contributes to a sense of place, and fosters community connections, showcasing the unique character of each city.

The island of Curaçao exemplifies how music contributes to the construction of place. The indigenous genre of tumba embodies Curaçaoan culture, celebrating the island's beauty and resilience. Songs like "Much'i Otrabanda" evoke a sense of place and community, demonstrating music's power to unite and define cultural identity.

Music integrates into urban spaces through public performances, music venues, festivals, and soundscapes, enriching the urban experience. Vibrant music scenes provide platforms for local artists and contribute to the cultural fabric of cities, fostering community engagement and artistic expression.

Music serves as a catalyst for urban transformation, revitalizing neighborhoods, attracting tourism, and mobilizing social activism. Live music venues and festivals breathe life into urban spaces, fostering economic growth and social cohesion, while advocating for social change.

In conclusion, music plays a pivotal role in the urban fabric, attaching emotional meaning to specific locations and fostering a sense of belonging. Architects have a responsibility to understand and leverage the role of music in urban environments to create impactful and transformative designs that resonate with communities and reflect the dynamic essence of cities.