This is a qualitative study of the live music ecology of Rotterdam. The study focusses on the local space in which musical activities take place and the required conditions for the functioning of local music within a city. Cultural expressions give a city a quality of life, an aspect in which cities must increasingly distinguish themselves. The city government Rotterdam has been looking for ways to improve its image and to stimulate urban development. However, the city is still searching for the right conditions to improve their cultural infrastructure. For musicians working in a city, a healthy cultural infrastructure is necessary to make a living and develop their music career. Taking an ecological approach allows a broad representation to come forward about the conditions that are needed for musicians to shape their careers. This study has the following research question: How do musicians in Rotterdam understand the required conditions for the live music ecology of the city? The research question will be answered by using two qualitative research methods. The first method is indepth interviewing with local musicians. The second method is mapping, where the musicians visualize their thoughts in drawings. This helps to get insight in the ways in which the musicians describe places; their sense of place; and differences between the musicians in terms of their understanding of places. The results indicate that the musicians identify themselves with the city of Rotterdam and feel a connection with the people in the city itself, but not all areas of Rotterdam are included as important. The music ecology in Rotterdam is predominantly experienced as negative for musicians, because problems are still there when it comes to the lack of medium sized performance places and high quality, affordable rehearsal places. However, the city is experienced strong in offering a diversity of music genres and the opportunity for skill development due to the role of the educational institution in the city. In addition, the wide range of festivals in Rotterdam is an asset for the city, to let the music of the musicians be heard by an audience and to interest them in other performances in the city.

Additional Metadata
Keywords media, creative industries, Music ecology, Rotterdam, Soft music institutions, Hard music institutions, Musicians.
Thesis Advisor A. van der Hoeven
Persistent URL
Series Media & Creative Industries
C. van der Weijden. (2019, July). Music ecology in the city An understanding of the required conditions for the live music ecology of the city Rotterdam. Media & Creative Industries. Retrieved from