Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music

By Georgina Born; David Hesmondhalgh | Go to book overview

music industry, which has led to the neglect of some difficult musical-political issues: the “whiteness” of indie and rave culture; the lack of respect accorded to black British musicians working within the hip hop tradition by both black and white audiences; the racialized tripartite division of the press, with the (white) rock and dance press thriving and the (black) r&b press barely surviving; and the difficulties faced by black music radio stations, to name a few key points. There are limits to what an independent record company like Nation can achieve, within prevailing institutional conditions, in the way of raising consciousness and challenging prevailing structures of cultural production (the company's avowed aims). The independent record company is not a refuge of ethically motivated creativity set apart from, and autonomous of, the nasty world of big business. But only through an adequately critical perspective on such brave but flawed attempts to provide an alternative can any headway be made in transforming the conditions of musicmaking .


NOTES
1
This is the case made by Thomas G. Schumacher's superb piece, “'This Is a Sampling Sport': Digital Sampling, Rap Music and the Law in Cultural Production, ” Media, Culture and Society 17, no. 2 (1995): 253–73. Legal doctrine is contradictory, he argues, as it assigns copyrights to corporate subjects but defines originality as origin in the individual author. But this contradiction is “consistently resolved in the interests of copyright holders” (ibid., 259). See also Thomas Porcello, “The Ethics of Digital Audio-Sampling, ” Popular Music 10, no. 1 (1991): 69–84.
2
For my purposes here, electronic dance music includes hip hop but also the various genres associated with the massively increased importance of club and dance music culture in the wake of the rave and acid house phenomena of the late 1980s: house, garage, techno, jungle, and drum and bass among them. Dance music culture has been central to debates about popular music in Europe in a way which still seems alien to many U.S. readers. For introductory surveys which attempt to outline the political importance of rave/dance music culture, see my “The Cultural Politics of Dance Music, ” Soundings 5 (1997): 167–78, and “Club Culture Goes Mental, ” Popular Music 17, no. 2 (1998): 247–53. For an impressive history and analysis, see Simon Reynolds, Energy Flash: A Journey through Rave Music and Dance Culture (London: Picador, 1998), published in the United States as Generation Ecstasy (New York: Routledge , 1999). On the complex relations between hip hop and dance music, and the particular importance of jungle as a diasporic form, see Reynolds, Energy Flash, and David Hesmondhalgh and Caspar Melville, “Urban Breakbeat Culture: Repercussions of Hip Hop in the UK, ” in Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA, ed. Tony Mitchell (Hanover, N.H.: Wesleyan University Press, forthcoming).
3
This chapter is based on research carried out in 1994 and 1995. I am very grateful to the staff at Nation for their friendly cooperation, especially Kath Canoville, Rich McLean, and Simon Underwood. Canoville and Underwood have left Nation since I carried out my fieldwork.

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Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction - On Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music 1
  • Notes 47
  • Musical Belongings - Western Music and Its Low-Other 59
  • Notes 78
  • Race, Orientalism, and Distinction in the Wake of the “yellow Peril” 86
  • Notes 110
  • Bartók, the Gypsies, and Hybridity in Music 119
  • Notes 137
  • Modernism, Deception, and Musical Others: Los Angeles Circa 1940 143
  • Notes 160
  • Experimental Oriental - New Music and Other Others 163
  • Notes 183
  • Composing the Cantorate - Westernizing Europe's Other Within 187
  • Notes 207
  • East, West, and Arabesk 213
  • Notes 229
  • Scoring the Indian - Music in the Liberal Western 234
  • Notes 251
  • The Poetics and Politics of Pygmy Pop 254
  • Discography 275
  • Notes 276
  • International Times - Fusions, Exoticism, and Antiracism in Electronic Dance Music 280
  • Notes 301
  • The Discourse of World Music 305
  • Notes 320
  • Contributors 323
  • Index 327
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