Music Scenes and Social Infrastructure

Through collaborating with Doug Turnbull (CS, Ithaca College) and his Localify team we have been able to identify correlations between digital music event listings and various demographic, civic engagement, and social infrastructure measures. Here we briefly mention some of our preliminary findings.

A more in-depth discussion can be found in: Zhou, McGraw, Turnbull. 2022. “Towards Quantifying The Strength of Music Scenes Using Live Event Data” ISMIR.

Based on a measure of digital music events from 2019, we found that a higher number of live music events per capita correlated with better transportation infrastructure, higher population densities, higher employment rates, and a higher level of education.

Merging the 2019 Localify dataset with ESRI survey datasets, we are able to see further correlations between the measure of live music events and civic engagement and political leaning for each county in the United States.

In the correlation matrix above, we see that there are (weak) correlations between the Live Music Event Rate and the number of people in a county who: contributed to a political organization (r = .27), contributed to NPR (r = .28), and contributed to social services (r = .26). (The correlation matrix also allows us to see other interactions, such as the strongly negative correlation (r = -.5) between contributing to NPR and very conservative outlook.)

Because this data is available for every county in the country, we can also generate relationship maps. The map below shows the interaction between the Live Music Event Rate and the percentage of people who contribute to NPR in each county.