Sound Affects: The Role of Music in Affecting Quality of Life
MetadataShow full item record
Music is a topic that is not often covered in leisure studies even though it frequently accompanies many of the activities we participate in. Music is central to human development, communication and meaning-making, and as will be displayed throughout this dissertation, can be integral to establishing and sustaining relationships, developing and maintaining identity, and acting as a source of positivity which can impact one’s life for the long-term. Relying on ethnographic methods for data collection and examination, this study described and analyzed the music scene that surrounds the touring rock band Jerry Joseph & the Jackmormons. The study was guided by the following research questions: How do ephemeral moments of interaction in the music scene ultimately lead to the formation of a community and intimate feelings for one another often identified as family? How do fans use a performer’s persona to interpret their lives? And, how do positive emotions generated from participation in the music scene affect quality of life outside the concert setting? Data were generated through semi-structured interviews, participant-observation at concert events and music festivals and textual analysis of an un-moderated online discussion forum centered on the band. The average age of the participants was forty-two, making them a worthwhile population of an understudied cohort (middle-aged) in regards to how music is used to affect quality of life. Due to long tenures of involvement with the band, the participants had established significant relationships with other fans which were perceived as family. The relationships transcended the designation of community due to the level of sincere sentiment shared amongst much of the fanbase. Additionally, the performative qualities of Jerry Joseph served for many as a testament to commitment, and for some, he was a role model for recovery in their struggle to overcome substance abuse. Finally, the participants’ extended and immersive involvement in the music scene surrounding the band was a positive outlet to draw from in dealing with the hardships of life outside of the music scene.
Harmon, Justin Tyler (2015). Sound Affects: The Role of Music in Affecting Quality of Life. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from