chapter  4
18 Pages

Music and materialism

The emergence of alternative Muslim lifestyle cultures in Britain
WithCarl Morris

This chapter considers the production of music by Muslim musicians in Britain, analysing the conceptual, cultural and economic assumptions that underpin the process of producing music. It offers a multifocal analysis of the materiality running through Muslim musical production in Britain. This involves considering the cultural and economic landscape that both limits and enables the production of music by Muslim musicians. The findings presented here are based on ethnographic research carried out across the UK in 2010–12. This included semi-structured interviews with twenty-two Muslim musicians, participant observation at musical and cultural events and an online survey completed by eighty-four Muslim music fans. The chapter aims to demonstrate that Muslim musicians are acutely conscious of their position within a wider Muslim lifestyle culture – one that both shapes and is shaped by a process of musical production. It provides a twofold typology that roughly divides Muslim musicians into one of two cultural streams: 'Islamic music' and 'Islamically conscious music'.