By Tia DeNora

ISBN-10: 052162732X

ISBN-13: 9780521627320

The ability of tune in lifestyle is well known and this can be mirrored in social thought from Plato to Adorno that portrays track as a power on personality, social constitution and motion. This e-book makes use of a chain of ethnographic stories and in-depth interviews to teach how tune is a constitutive function of human company. Drawing jointly suggestions from psychology, sociology and sociolinguistics it develops a conception of music's lively function within the development of social lifestyles and highlights the cultured measurement of social order and association in glossy societies.

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The exuberance of our national anthem, the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’, gives form to one aspect of patriotic feeling; the quieter radiance of ‘America’, another. When sung with conviction, who among us can resist a feeling of pride and community. (1985:296) The popular music scholar Richard Middleton has intervened promisingly in this area with an institutional theory of meaning ‘in’ music, namely the idea that certain musical works may accumulate long-standing, widely accepted connotations, ones that, for all practical purposes, arise from the musical works ‘themselves’.

1990:10) But there is still a short cut here. If we accept the idea that the process of the stabilization of meaning is itself a topic for research and not something that may be taken as read, then we cannot make assumptions about social responses to music without also offering a description of how those responses are actually produced. In Hennion’s sense, we need to identify the mediators that make particular interpretations possible. So, are there Sources of semiotic power 33 mediators who might detract from the qualities of the ‘Marseillaise’ or ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’?

Indeed, only a few pages later in his book, Middleton himself discusses how musical works can be ‘prised open’ and rearticulated in new ways, for example in the football appropriation of ‘Amazing Grace’, where the melody is sung to one repeated word – ‘Arsenal’ (1990:16). He goes on to observe, later on in the book, that these matters ‘must be referred to listeners, for the answers depend on what is heard and how it is heard’ (1990:188). These examples of musical mediation (or reappropriation) highlight how music’s semiotic force – its affect upon hearing – cannot be fully specified in advance of actual reception.

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Music in Everyday Life by Tia DeNora


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