MEDIT Seminar: From Institutionally Embedded ‘Serious’ to Individualized ‘Popular’ – Values and Attitudes in Estonian Music Criticism

Speaker: Madis Järvekülg (Tallinn University)
Time: May 3, 15:30-17:00
Place: M-213


Building on Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of fields and its contemporary critique, this paper examines the values of Estonian music criticism in print publications. The findings suggest that the state-funded publications are characterized by Romantic ideology, professionalism, and tradition, and cover almost exclusively classical music, whereas private publications review mostly popular music and adopt a more individualized, less normative attitude to music. While transnational studies have referred to the growing legitimation of the ‘popular’ in elite publications, the high–low discrimination evident in Estonian state-funded music journalism upholds the dominant cultural value hierarchy, which is arguably embedded in the institutional framework of Estonian music culture.

About the speaker

Madis Järvekülg is a junior research fellow in MEDIT and a doctoral student in Studies of Cultures in the School of Humanities, Tallinn University. His research examines the critical discourse on music in the new digital media networks and its effect on the system of music production in Estonia. Madis holds a MA degree in journalism from the University of Tartu and has studied sociology of music and aesthetics of music in the University of Leeds. He has previously worked as an editor and music critic for Estonian Public Broadcasting.

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