In the interstices of the subfield: self-edition and entrepreneurship among folk musicians in Portugal in the 21st century


  • Pedro Belchior Nunes Instituto de Etnomusicologia — Centro de Estudos em Música e Dança da Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (INET-MD — NOVA FCSH)



subfield of music production, rural folk music, self-publishing, entrepreneurship, DIY


This article addresses the practices and values of a sample of self-edited musicians, within the peculiar universe of rural folk music in Portugal, in the context of the last two decades in which music production has suffered the impact of the phenomena of digitalization and disintermediation. Taking as theoretical anchors the theses of Bourdieu and Becker on the fields of cultural production and artistic worlds, respectively, as well as recent studies on DIY (do-it-yourself) musical cultures, characterized by an adherence to a set of practices and values which are autonomous in relation to the dominant circuits of music production, and using semi-directed interviews with a sample of musicians, we aim to understand the meaning of their practices in relation to publishing and its articulation with other activities which they develop to disseminate their music. We conclude that adherence to DIY modes of music production and distribution among these musicians, although evident in many cases, is not total or unconditional, either due to more institutional connections within a subfield of popular music production, or due to the advantages that many still find in establishing partnerships with labels and distributors.