Music, Power, and Politics

Music, Power, and Politics

Music, Power, and Politics

Music, Power, and Politics

Synopsis

Presents 16 different cultural perspectives on the concept of music as a site of socio-political struggle. This text includes essays by scholars from around the world that explore the means by which music has been used to advance agendas of power & protest.

Excerpt

This book traces the operations of power-social, economic, and political-through the medium of music and through discourses about music. None of the authors makes a claim for the power of music itself to persuade, coerce, resist, or suppress; rather, they address the uses to which music is put, the controls placed on it, and discursive treatments of it. Guiding these investigations through a variety of historical and cultural contexts are the theories of Gramsci, Adorno, Foucault, Baudrillard, and Attali; indeed, the volume could be viewed as a set of case studies based on these scholars' theories.

Several themes run through the book, and the chapters can be grouped accordingly. Jelena Jovanović's “The Power of Recently Revitalized Serbian Rural Folk Music in Urban Settings” and Sharon Meredith's “Barbadian Tuk Music-A Fusion of Musical Cultures” might be read together as investigations of music that assert racial or ethnic identity against the homogenizing tendencies of the nation-state. Jovanović's chapter also relates to Bennett Hogg's “Who's Listening?”; both examine the operations of power through music in territories of the former Yugoslavia, although Hogg concentrates on the use of modern electronic technologies while Jovanović examines the recovery of ancient rural folk singing traditions. Singing traditions are also the topic of Grant Olwage's “Discipline and Choralism: The Birth of Musical Colonialism, ” which views choral instruction methods through a Foucauldian lens.

Intersections of electronic technology, music, and gender inform Helen Reddington's “Hands Off My Instrument!”-a discussion of women in

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