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Sociology of music

Related: sociology - music - music theory

Titles: Subculture: The Meaning of Style (1979) - Dick Hebdige - Cut 'N' Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (1987) - Dick Hebdige


--http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology of music

Sociology of disco and house music [...]

From a sociological point of view, there is no difference between house and disco. Both genres cross the boundaries of race, gender [clearly not being homophobic as rap and reggae is] and class. Both genres were intended to be played in discotheques, later called clubs. Both genres use the turntable as musical instrument. Both genres were intended to dance to, music intended for the body rather than the mind. Both genres are producers' genres, largely ignoring the "cult of personality" marketing techniques of mainstream music. The conclusion is that disco and house are the same music, because they serve the same purpose to the same audiences across times. --jahsonic, Jan 2004

Sociology of rock music

Sociology of Rock Music --http://condor.depaul.edu/~dweinste/rock/

One of the things that surprised me when I was compiling this site was the number of dull, dry, academic books in which all the excitement of music was reduced to Foucaultian jargon for the edification of college students. The impetus for this kind of writing seems to have come from England, where the social implications of music are taken far more seriously, and a whole subgenre called Cultural Studies was spawned around these analyses of pop, by Simon Frith and his cadre. There was a spate of books following the Mods and other Sixties trends in the UK (the only US equivalent being the ravings of Christians who saw communism attacking our kids thru folk, then the Beatles, folk-rock, and so on; a fascinating field unto itself, though not exactly academic sociology), but the genre really took off in the wake of Punk (a similar movement in the U.S. was represented (though self-defined more as 'musicology' than 'sociology') by the late R. Serge Denisoff and his colleagues (particularly Wiliam Schurk and Gary Burns) at Bowling Green State University, where it all began in the late '60s with "Dylanology"--or possibly with "Garbology", the earliest form of Dylan scholarship...and continues with the fine Journal of Popular Music and Society). The field has since expanded to encompass black music, gender issues, and even heavy metal, as growing examples of the kind of subcultures that have always fed the mainstream. Frankly most writing of this kind bores me senseless. But many of the works included here are exceptions to that rule, and for the serious-minded among us, they can be quite rewarding... -- Greg Shaw, http://www.bomp.com/BompbooksSocio.html

Social impact of rock music [...]

From its beginnings, rock and roll has been associated with youth, rebellion, and anti-establishmentism. The combination of black influences, suggestive lyrics, and wild response by the younger set made rock and roll shocking and threatening to the older generation. The ability to shock the elders in turn became part of the appeal of the music to young people. Attempts to control the influence of rock often turned comical; after several previous television appearances became controversial, Elvis Presley was famously shown from the waist up (to avoid offending viewers with his suggestive hip swivels) on the Ed Sullivan show in 1956. Hollywood was quick to capitalize on the trend, turning out a series of rock-and-roll themed exploitation films designed to thrill teenagers and horrify adults.

As the original generations of rock and roll fans matured, rock music became an accepted and deeply-interwoven thread in popular culture. Beginning in the early 1970's, rock songs and acts began to be used regularly in television commercials; starting in the 1980s rock music was often featured in film and television program soundtracks. While mainstream rock music was no longer able to shock or offend, new forms of music, particularly Punk rock and Rap emerged to fill this role; people who as youths delighted in the effect rock and roll had on their parents found themselves railing in a similar fashion against their childrens' music. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_music#Social_Impacts

Music as a social construct

Post-modern theories argue that, like all art, music is defined primarily by social context. According to this view, music is what people call music, whether it is a period of silence, found sounds, or performance. Famously John Cage's work 4' 33" is rooted in this conception of music. According to Nattiez, Cage, Kagel, Schnebel, and others, "now perceive them [certain of their pieces] (even if they do not say so publicly) as a way of "speaking" in music about music, in the second degree, as it were, to expose or denounce the institutional aspect of music's functioning." --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Music [Oct 2004]

Sounds and Society: Themes in the Sociology of Music - Peter J. Martin

  • Sounds and Society: Themes in the Sociology of Music - Peter J. Martin [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    Martin (sociology, U. of Manchester) argues that musical meaning must be understood as socially constructed rather than inherent, and that the notion of a correspondence between social and musical structures is highly problematic. He outlines an alternative approach, based on the "social action" perspective, and concludes with a discussion of the social situation of music in advanced capitalist society. He draws on studies across the entire spectrum of Western music, from medieval plainchant to rock and avant-garde jazz. --Book News, Inc. Portland, Or., amazon.com

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