Making Up for Lost Time
Exploring the Global Cultural Flow of Music Development Between Lisbon, Portugal and Toronto, Canada
Keywords:Portugal, Canada, Music, Music Business, Appadurai
In an essay entitled “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” Arjun Appadurai proposes a framework for understanding the process of global cultural flow, particularly in the field of economics. The term “culture,” in this sense, is summarily defined as “behaviour and beliefs that are learned and shared: learned so that it is not ‘instinctual,’ shared so that it is not individual” (Pieterse, 1390). Essentially, Appadurai’s framework is segmented into five distinct categories, or “scapes,” including: (a) ethnoscapes, (b) mediascapes, (c) technoscapes, (d) financescapes, and (e) ideoscapes (589). As products or attributes from various communities are introduced into new societies, they are inclined to go through a process of indigenization, often resulting in configurations of cultural hybridity and exchange. This process is evident in global music and media business networks, informing artists and professionals alike on emerging models, markets, and trends within the seemingly limitless boundaries of the global stage. The global cultural flow of music and media incites measurable consequences across all five of Appadurai’s scapes; in turn, this activity informs the character and development of the geographical sites facilitating such exchange. One such relationship exists between Lisbon, Portugal and Toronto, Canada, or more specifically, Lisbon and the Toronto neighborhood known as Little Portugal. Stemming from a complex history of colonialism and immigration, Lisbon and Toronto have developed as symbiotic nodes among the larger structure of global music and media networks. By examining each of Appadurai’s scapes within the context of Lisbon and Toronto’s transnational relationship, one can better understand the effects of global music exchange and the development of the music city itself.
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