Listen to Cologne! - An Interactive Map of Regional Musical Practices

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"Menschensinfonieorchester"or "Welcome Choir", Rock bands, brass bands or marching bands, baglama orchestras or batucada-ensembles, musicking tram drivers or singing skippers - the music metropolis Cologne is home to thousands of 'amateur' music groups: a rich music culture, consisting of locally, regionally and globally shared musical practices representing a culturaldiversity founded on the idea of community and an active civil society.A central aspect of this microcosm is the enriching impact of migrant musical cultures, from the "Gastarbeiter"-culture to the musical practices of arriving refugees. Knowledge of these musical treasures andthe potential for cultural exchange are the basis for processes of cultural inclusion and successful integration, thus strengthening socialcohesion and fostering identity formation. However, this diversity is familiar only to a limited public of particular musical scenes and subcultures, especially in urban contexts. Exchange has been left to chance. Many aspects of these creative musical practices have remained inaudible and invisible, as they have not been made available to the public in a mediatised form.

The project intends to make these creative musical practices visible and audible - in compiling an interactive soundmap of the city of Cologne. This would stimulate (inter)cultural connectivity within the 'amateur' music scenes and foster exchange between established cultural institutions and ensembles with subcultural musical scenes. The project furthermore offers insightsinto the historical dynamics of the Cologne music scenes over the course the last 30 years. Continuities as well as ruptures and musical transformation processes will be made visible through archival research and ethnographic fieldwork - resulting in research that may serve as an empirical background for future cultural policy recommendations.

Team: Dr. Astrid Reimers, Sarah Feyrer

Contact: astrid.reimers[at]