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The “Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Research Group” is dedicated to the study of all aspects of electronic dance music culture(s). Amsterdance departs from the field of popular music studies, from which it sets out an exploration of the material and social resonances generated by the sounds of electronic dance music in time and space. Though based in Amsterdam, the group is open to electronic dance music researchers from all around the world and also traces the music’s global footprints in an effort to put both local and translocal occurrences in conversation with each other.


Dr Oliver Seibt, Sydney Schelvis, and Ian Pocervina


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Research Interests

Over the last half-century, electronic dance music has become one of the central sonic forces in the field of popular music and set in motion the development of a number of cultural formations. The physical impact of its repetitive rhythms instigates a profound synchrony on the dance floor. Yet, perhaps due to historic stigmatisation and associations with hedonism, the sounds and cultures of electronic dance music remain relatively side-lined in academic research. The Amsterdance research group explores the social significance and the cultural and political potential of contemporary electronic dance musics in a variety of settings and contexts. In terms of methodology, Amsterdance is thereby inspired by the logic of electronic dance musicking itself: sampling, mixing, and remixing materials.

Envisaged Results

The central ambition of Amsterdance is to provide a home to researchers interested in electronic dance musics and their cultures, and to connect them to related research networks. Amsterdance aims to benefit from the insights of guest speakers and welcomes any external contributors to join the meetings and complement discussions.

Work Plan and Time Schedule

Amsterdance was launched in February 2021. The research group meets on a regular basis to discuss the research projects of its individual members, to support their undertakings with constructive feedback, and to jointly read relevant publications. Since April 2021, Amsterdance has been organising a series of lectures with outstanding international electronic dance music scholars and practitioners.

Past Events and Activities

20 April 2021
AMSTERDANCE meets IASPM Benelux POP TALKS 3: Beate Peter on “Experiential Knowledge and Popular Music Historiography”

29 September 2021
AMSTERDANCE meets IASPM Benelux POP TALKS 5: Hillegonda C. Rietveld on “Spectacular Noise: The Case of Gabber”

20 January 2022
AMSTERDANCE meets IASPM Research Seminar Series: Ian Pocervina, Jacob Tucker, Phoebe Janssen, and Sydney Schelvis on “AMSTERDANCE: The Amsterdam Electronic Dance Music Research Group”

21 June 2022
AMSTERDANCE meets 7th IASPM Benelux Student Conference: Graham St. John on “Apocalypse Raver: Terence McKenna as Medium”

22 June 2022
AMSTERDANCE workshop with Graham St. John

23 June 2022
AMSTERDANCE meets IASPM Benelux POP TALKS 7: Graham St. John on “Event Cultures and Meta-Liminality from Psytrance to Burning Man”

20 October 2022
AMSTERDANCE meets the UvA Musicology Colloquium series and ADE: Femke Vandenberg on “‘Dancing on my own’: The Transition of Live Electronic Dance Music to the Digital Realm”


Amsterdance ‘Graduates’

Olle Beenhakker
Raving Through Rosa’s Glasses: Using Resonance Theory to Study Rave Culture (MA Music Studies thesis, 2022)

Phoebe Janssen
This Must Be the Space: Mapping Spaces of Post-1989 Berlin and Their Relation to the Local Club Culture (MA Music Studies thesis, 2021)

Rick Kooijman
The Sacred Rave: A Review of a French Sociological Tradition in EDMC Studies (MA Music Studies thesis, 2022)

Sydney Schelvis
4DSOUND: A New Technology? On the Ontology of Techno in Space (rMA Art Studies thesis, 2020)

Jacob Tucker
Excavating the Bass: A Critical Historiography of UK Dance Music (MA Music Studies thesis, 2021)

This research group is active in the following constellations: