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Dissonance and harmony: A study of the recognition of artists in modernistic music in Brussels; 1919-1939

Christophe Boone, Carolyn H. Declerck, Hayagreeva Rao and Kristin van Den Buys

ACED Working Papers from University of Antwerp, Faculty of Business and Economics

Abstract: What explains the recognition gained by artists? Is it learning by doing? Or is it social structure? We study the recognition gained by modernistic composers in Belgium during the interwar years, and find that learning by doing increases recognition for pioneers, and that it matters only when there is fragmentation of the genre. However, novices secured recognition if they worked in a genre allied with a political ideology; more specifically, when the far right parties gained ground reflecting the rise of Flemish nationalism, expressionists belonging to the German pole garnered more recognition even if they were novices. Taken together, these results suggest that worlds of art shape the fates of works of art.

Pages: 47 pages
Date: 2009-12
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