Over the past decade, a new movement of performers and composers has emerged. Though drawing from the Western art-music tradition, these musicians non-hierarchically incorporate elements from many different genres, movements and disciplines into their work. Moving past genre labels and downplaying notions of “high” or “low” art, they place importance on an equal and open composer-performer-audience relationship. Many of these musicians would identify with the term “post-genre.” Many prominent post-genre musicians have been described as “indie classical” by various critics, however this label quickly proves to be problematic, as it attempts to stylistically define a movement that is inherently fluid and indefinable.
This project forms an in-depth academic study of post-genre music, and a scholarly discussion of the term “indie classical.” Through a literature review and interviews with a number of prominent post-genre musicians, it discusses the emergence and context of post-genre music, and examines the relationship between post-genre and the label “indie classical” while discussing the problems inherent with the latter label.
Furthermore, this research forms a premiere performance-led examination of post-genre music. By combining the above literature review and interviews with performance-led research, it has found there is a new performance practice emerging through the post-genre movement, and discusses what this means for musicians, music organisations and educational institutions. Furthermore, it finds that when presented effectively, post-genre music can successfully connect with a diverse range of demographics—particularly ones that traditional classical music is currently struggling to attract—and the thesis incorporates audience surveys from the author’s concerts to suggest a number of methods to enhance the presentation of post-genre music.