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Abstract

Urban geography, both material and imagined, is a crucial mediating factor in the production and consumption of music. The city provides the concrete places which offer spaces for musical creativity. While certain spaces such as recording studios are specifically organised for this purpose, music is produced in many spaces, from the bedroom, garage or home studio, to community and youth centres, to street corners and clubs. Cities also sustain networks that foster and support musical creativity. These networks come together in locales of creativity and production to find fixity in the concrete spaces of the city. At the same time the networks are fluid, with musical knowledge moving within and between cities through the mobility of skilled creatives and new technologies. A growing body of geographical literature is attempting to foreground the spatial in music studies by focusing on local scenes, musical production, and the particularity of certain places. This article aims to provide an overview of current geographical research and debates on music, with an explicit focus on the role of urban space in musical creativity, and on the musically creative networks at work within and between cities. We argue that there is a need to situate creativity more squarely in its material and embodied contexts of production and to consider the ways in which creative individuals interact in complex ways with urban physical form, technology, and other actors in networks of creativity and production.