Boston Music Scene


Senior Member
May 25, 2006
Reaction score
The Herald said:
Live from Boston
Hub?s music scene puts other cities? to shame
Jed Gottlieb By Jed Gottlieb
Friday, September 14, 2007 -

While Music City, U.S.A., is Nashville?s moniker, Boston may be swiping the title.

Boston has more musicians, live performances and music-related businesses than renowned musical metropolises Nashville, Austin, Texas, New Orleans or Seattle, according to a just-released study by the Cultural Policy Center at the University of Chicago.

?For the size of (Boston), things like ticket sales and the sheer number of performances were very surprising findings,? said Wendy Leigh Norris, co-author of the study (which can be found at

Aimed at examining how Chicago?s music scene stacked up against other cities?, the study revealed that Boston outpaces similar and larger-sized cities in a number of categories. The most impressive finding? Boston has more musicians per capita than any other city in the United States.

Trailing only much larger New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, Boston ranked fourth in the following categories for the past year:

Music industry revenue ($506,000,000).

Live shows.

Music industry jobs.

Music-related businesses.

The University of Chicago researchers didn?t try to discover why Boston is so musically inclined, but the Boston-educated Norris speculates that college students and music schools play a significant role.

?A hypothesis would be that the student energy and the profession energy feed off each other,? she said. ?The data suggests that Boston really needs a study of its own to find out why this is.?

Berklee College of Music Senior Vice President Larry Simpson doesn?t need a study to know why Boston is such a stellar music town.

?It?s not surprising at all to me,? Simpson said. ?When you look at the number of music schools, young people, colleges and universities, it makes sense.?

Unlike one-style towns such as country capital Nashville or jazz birthplace New Orleans, Boston?s ?diverse and musically sophisticated community? fuels an appreciation of all genres, Simpson said.

Sorry, Nashville. Your twang can?t compete with our pop, rock, blues, jazz, folk, classical and goth-punk cabaret.


Staff member
May 25, 2006
Reaction score
Anyone play the Guitar Hero games? They are full of Boston bands. I guess this means that Boston is still culturally significant, musically at least, which is a great thing.

Beton Brut

Senior Member
May 25, 2006
Reaction score
^^ Made by Harmonix, in Central Square, Cambridge. One of the creators is a friend of mine. He plays clarinet in the chamber group I'm a trustee with.