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Western Music and Its Others

Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music

Georgina Born (Editor), David Hesmondhalgh (Editor)

Available worldwide

Paperback, 409 pages
ISBN: 9780520220843
October 2000
$33.95, £27.00
This innovative collection of articles offers a major comprehensive overview of new developments in cultural theory as applied to Western music. Addressing a broad range of primarily twentieth-century music, the authors examine two related phenomena: musical borrowings or appropriations, and how music has been used to construct, evoke, or represent difference of a musical or a sociocultural kind.

The essays scrutinize a diverse body of music and discuss a range of significant examples, among them musical modernism's idealizing or ambivalent relations with popular, ethnic, and non-Western music; exoticism and orientalism in the experimental music tradition; the representation of others in Hollywood film music; music's role in the formation and contestation of collective identities, with reference to Jewish and Turkish popular music; and issues of representation and difference in jazz, world music, hip hop, and electronic dance music.

Written by leading scholars from disciplines including historical musicology, sociology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, popular music studies, and film studies, the essays provide unprecedented insights into how cultural identities and differences are constructed in music.
INTRODUCTION: On Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music
I. Postcolonial Analysis and Music Studies (David Hesmondhalgh and Georgina
II. Musical Modernism, Postmodernism, and Others (Georgina Born)
III. Othering, Hybridity, and Fusion in Transnational Popular Musics (David
Hesmondhalgh and Georgina Born)
IV. Music and the Representation/Articulation of Sociocultural Identities
(Georgina Born)
V. Techniques of the Musical Imaginary (Georgina Born)

1. Musical Belongings: Western Music and Its Low-Other (Richard Middleton)
2. Race, Orientalism, and Distinction in the Wake of the "Yellow Peril"
(Jann Pasler)
3. Bartók, the Gypsies, and Hybridity in Music (Julie Brown)
4. Modernism, Deception, and Musical Others: Los Angeles circa 1940 (Peter
5. Experimental Oriental: New Music and Other Others (John Corbett)
6. Composing the Cantorate: Westernizing Europe's Other Within (Philip V.
7. East, West, and Arabesk (Martin Stokes)
8. Scoring the Indian: Music in the Liberal Western (Claudia Gorbman)
9. The Poetics and Politics of Pygmy Pop (Steven Feld)
10. International Times: Fusions, Exoticism, and Antiracism in Electronic
Dance Music (David Hesmondhalgh)
11. The Discourse of World Music (Simon Frith)
Georgina Born lectures on the sociology of culture at the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of Emmanuel College in Cambridge. She is the author of Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (California, 1995). David Hesmondhalgh is Research Fellow in Sociology at the Open University.
"[Western Music and Its Others] will be taken as an important book signalling a new turn within the field. It takes the best features of traditional, rigorous scholarship and brings these to bear upon contemporary, more speculative questions. The level of theoretical sophistication is high. The studies within it are polemical and timely and of lasting scholarly value."—Will Straw, co-editor of Theory Rules: Art as Theory/ Theory and Art

"The great value of this collection lies in the wealth of questions that it raises--questions that together crystallize the recent concerns of musicology with force and clarity. But it also lies in the authors' resistance to the easy 'postmodernist' answers that threaten to turn new musicology prematurely grey. The editors' comprehensive, intellectually adventurous introduction exemplifies the sort of eager yet properly skeptical receptivity to scholarly innovation that fosters lasting disciplinary reform. It alone is worth the price of the book." —Richard Taruskin, author of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through " Mavra"

"When cultural-studies methods first appeared in musicology 15 years ago, they triggered a storm of polemics that sometimes overshadowed the important issues being raised. As the canon wars recede, however, scholars are finding it possible to focus on the concerns that led them to cultural criticism in the first place: the study of music and its political meanings. Western Music and Its Others brings together leading musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and specialists in film and popular music to explore the ways European and North American musicians have drawn on or identified themselves in tension with the musical practices of Others. In a series of essays ranging from examination of the Orientalist tropes of early 20th-century Modernists to the tangled claims for ownership in today's World Music, the authors in this collection greatly advance both our knowledge of specific case studies and our intellectual awareness of the complexity and urgency of these problems. A timely intervention that should help push music studies to the next level." —Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form (2000)

"This collection provides a sophisticated model for using theory to interrogate music and music to interrogate theory. The essays both take up and challenge the dominance of notions of representation in cultural theory as they explore the relevance of the concepts of hybridity and otherness for contemporary art music. Sophisticated theory, erudite scholarship and a very real appreciation for the specificities of music make this a powerful and important addition to our understanding of both culture and music." —Lawrence Grossberg, author of Dancing in Spite of Myself

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