Music, Culture, and Experience: Selected Papers of John Blacking

Overview

One of the most important ethnomusicologists of the century, John Blacking achieved international recognition for his book, How Musical Is Man? Known for his interest in the relationship of music to biology, psychology, dance, and politics, Blacking was deeply committed to the idea that music-making is a fundamental and universal attribute of the human species. He attempted to document the ways in which music-making expresses the human condition, how it transcends social ...

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Overview

One of the most important ethnomusicologists of the century, John Blacking achieved international recognition for his book, How Musical Is Man? Known for his interest in the relationship of music to biology, psychology, dance, and politics, Blacking was deeply committed to the idea that music-making is a fundamental and universal attribute of the human species. He attempted to document the ways in which music-making expresses the human condition, how it transcends social divisions, and how it can be used to improve the quality of human life.

This volume brings together in one convenient source eight of Blacking's most important theoretical papers along with an extensive introduction by the editor. Drawing heavily on his fieldwork among the Venda people of South Africa, these essays reveal his most important theoretical themes such as the innateness of musical ability, the properties of music as a symbolic or quasi-linguistic system, the complex relation between music and social institutions, and the relation between scientific musical analysis and cultural understanding.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Eight papers by British ethnomusicologist Blacking 1928-90, selected to illuminate his theoretical and methodological approaches and to introduce his ethnography of the Venda people of South Africa. Among the titles are Expressing Human Experience through Music, The Music of Venda Girls' Initiation, Reflections on the Effectiveness of Symbols, and The Music of Politics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR booknews.com
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226088297
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1995
  • Series: Chicago Studies in Ethnomusicology
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 277
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword Bruno Nettl Acknowledgments The Ethnomusicology of John Blacking
1: Expressing Human Experience through Music
2: The Problem of Musical Description
3: The Music of Venda Girls' Initiation
4: Music and the Historical Process in Vendaland
5: The Study of Musical Change
6: Reflections on the Effectiveness of Symbols
7: The Music of Politics
8: Music, Culture, and Experience A Note on Pronunciation Works by John Blacking References Index

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