Music and Cultural Theory / Edition 1

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In this book Shepherd and Wicke make a bold and original contribution to the understanding of music as a form of human expression. They argue that music is fundamental to social life. Music is not merely a form of leisure or entertainment: it is central to the very formation and reproduction of human societies.

The authors pursue this argument through a wide-ranging assessment of some of the major cultural theoretical contributions to understanding music. Theories of culture, linguistic theories, structuralist and post-structuralist theories and psychoanalytic theories of music are carefully explained and critically examined. The authors then develop their own account of music as a non-referential yet material form of human expression which embodies and conveys principles of symbolic structuring. They emphasize the human body as a principal site for the musical mediation of social and symbolic processes.

Music and Cultural Theory establishes new links between musicology and cultural studies, showing how each discipline can inform and enrich the other. It will be recommended reading for students and professionals in musicology, media and communication studies, cultural studies and the sociology of culture.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book actually moves popular music studies forward and offersa significant challenge to cultural theory. It asks a mostdifficult question: what might cultural criticism look like ifmusic were at its center, rather than literature or the visualarts? It is one of the most important and exciting contributions inrecent years to the study of popular music and popular culture."Lawrence Grossberg, University of North Carolina

"This book accomplishes an important task, mapping thetheoretical territory between musicology and cultural studies inorder better to understand the processes of "meaning and affect" inmusic. It is a challenging and substantial contribution to theproject of moving cultural theory towards an accommodation withmusicology - an accommodation that, despite the best of intentions,is long overdue." Graeme Turner, University ofQueensland

"This ... is the first to tackle the relationship between musicand cultural theory systematically, as its central task. Theauthors are eminently well qualified for the job, and the bookshould immediately become required reading in cultural studies,popular music studies and critical musicology." European Journalof Communication

"This book is a significant contribution to theoreticalanalysis of music through cultural theory. I recommend it for thosewho are especially interested in the relationship between cultureand music ... thought-provoking." Contemporary Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745608648
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 8/22/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents



1. The Problem of Affect and Meaning in Music.

2. Music and Cultural Theory.

3. Music and Psychoanalysis.

4. Theorizing Difference in Language and Music.

5. Music as a Medium in Sound.

6. Music as Structure.

7. Music's Semiological Moment.

8. Music - a Performative Semiological Model.

9. Music and Language in the Constitution of Society.

10. Towards a Sociology of Sound.



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