Making Up for Lost Time

Exploring the Global Cultural Flow of Music Development Between Lisbon, Portugal and Toronto, Canada


  • Jacob Moniz New York University
  • Sam Howard-Spink New York University



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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Author Biography

Sam Howard-Spink, New York University

Sam Howard-Spink PhD is Clinical Associate Professor of Music Business in NYU Steinhardt's Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions. His teaching and research interests are in the political-economic systems of international music and interactive media cultures, industries, and human agencies.



How to Cite

Moniz, J., & Howard-Spink, S. (2021). Making Up for Lost Time: Exploring the Global Cultural Flow of Music Development Between Lisbon, Portugal and Toronto, Canada. Journal of Student Research, 9(2).



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