Beats, Strings and Volcanic Things Cross-Genre Musical Practices in the Independent Music Scene in Reykjavík, Iceland
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- Institutt for musikk 
This thesis examines the contemporary independent music scene in Reykjavík, Iceland, with an emphasis on musical practices that pose a challenge to the institutional divide between the cultural fields of the classical and the popular. Building on a period of fieldwork in Reykjavík in fall 2015, this thesis uses ethnographic descriptions of musical events and specific sites of performance and dissemination in the Icelandic capital, seeking to understand how cross-genre, cross-hierarchy musical practices relate to the city of Reykjavík with its specific urban and social geography. Case studies of the post- rock band Sigur Rós and the independent record label Bedroom Community demonstrate how such cross-boundary cultural practices are manifest in concrete examples of recorded music. Different forms of music analyses are employed to connect ethnographic description to musical style. The relatively small population and compact, centralized urban structure of Reykjavík prove to be facilitating factors in the emergence of collaborative musical practices founded on close social proximity. Fluidity across genres and cultural fields has produced musical idiolects that rely in equal measure on vernacular pop/rock styles and certain notation-based styles associated with European classical music.