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The Music World in Phoenix: Insights from a Cultural Planning Study Where the Lights Are Darkest and the Sounds Mute

The Music World in Phoenix: Insights from a Cultural Planning Study Where the Lights Are Darkest and the Sounds Mute

Carlos José Lopes Balsas, “The Music World in Phoenix: Insights from a Cultural Planning Study Where the Lights Are Darkest and the Sounds Mute!,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 74, no. 4 (2018): 1507–26,

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The Music World in Phoenix: Insights from a Cultural Planning Study where the Lights are Darkest and the Sounds Mute!

Type Journal Article
Author Carlos José Lopes Balsas
Rights © 2018 Aletheia - Associação Científica e Cultural | © 2018 Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
Volume 74
Issue 4
Pages 1507-1526
Publication Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia
ISSN 0870-5283
Date 2018
DOI 10.17990/RPF/2018_74_4_1507
Language English
Abstract Music is an art form and a mean of expression and performance. The instruments utilized to produce musical sound are as varied as the sounds desired and the materials and technologies utilized to produce it. The memorialization and celebration of sounds (and instruments) in specialized museums, such as Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum (MIM), is simultaneously a philanthropic investment and a wealth creation strategy. Based on an in-depth analysis of MIM’s location, planning, operations and growth ventures, this article answers the research question of whether edge city cultural investments work against institutionalized urban revitalization political agendas aimed at partially reversing sprawl development tendencies. I utilize Petula Clark’s ‘Downtown’ and Pedro Barroso’s ‘Tanta Gente’ songs to compare and contrast an institutionalized urban revitalization vision with real estate strategies aimed at capitalizing on inexpensive land in the suburbs. I argue that MIM’s launch in north Phoenix in 2010 is marred in the practically mute unsustainable patterns of metropolitan development so common in the pre-2008–2009 crisis reality of the U.S. Southwest. The key finding is a set of implications at the intersection of cultural planning and environmental citizenship in North America and beyond.
Date Added 23/01/2019, 18:45:41
Modified 24/01/2019, 11:31:40


  • cultural planning,
  • globalization,
  • museums,
  • music,
  • sustainability,
  • territorial culture,
  • urbanism


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