An Avicii Trilogy – Music, Mental Health and Ethics

12 January 2022
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Dr. George Musgrave, academic researcher based in CAMRI, has produced a trilogy of academic publications focusing on the loss of Avicii and lessons the music industries might learn from this tragedy, with part three just being published. Building on earlier connections between his research and the aftermath of the death of Avicii – including the GQ cover story ‘Who Really Killed Avicii’ in 2018 – Musgrave has now produced three academic articles looking at the links between the music industries, ethics, decision-making and mental health.
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Part one (Musgrave, 2020) was a review of the documentary Avicii – True Stories published in the journal Dancecult, which framed it as “an allegorical morality tale, which challenges us to think about themes such as corporate ethics, responsibility, creativity, passion and exploitation”. 
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Building on this, Part two (Chaparro and Musgrave, 2021) was a revised version of a dissertation by MA Music Business Management student Gerardo Chaparro, looking at how music managers make ethical-decisions and the factors which influence decision-making. The work has already been read widely, including by the Music Managers Forum.
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Now, part three (Musgrave, 2022) has been published. This takes the form of peer-reviewed teaching notes as part of the SAGE Business Case Study series. It features an example lesson plan for academics working in the areas of popular music, management, ethics, decision-making and/or corporate social responsibility and offers ideas to help engage students with questions raised around the death of Avicii.
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Speaking about the publications, Musgrave said; “Its been wonderful to get the opportunity to think more deeply about this tragedy in a variety of different forms of publication (review, journal article and teaching notes). The work myself and Sally Gross have been doing over the past few years on mental health and the music industry continues to highlight areas requiring further thought, so exploring the ethics of this topic has been fascinating”.
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