Jennifer C. Lena

Measures of diversity. Lessons from rap music, 1979-1995

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In this paper, I offer a new measure of musical diversity for use by researchers who examine the impact of market and industry structure on the content of media products. In this longitudinal study of rap music production, I use a measure of diversity from assessment criteria used by producers and consumers. I find sub-genre diversity cannot be predicted by market structure, but lyrical change occurs only at a critical moment in market oligopolization. These results suggest market structure is a stronger predictor of the substance of musical diversity because assessment criteria of content are affected by that structure.

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