Musical Style and Social Meaning: Selected Essays, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Musical Style and Social Meaning

Selected Essays, 1st Edition

By Derek B. Scott


374 pages

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Hardback: 9780754629306
pub: 2010-10-28
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Why do we feel justified in using adjectives such as romantic, erotic, heroic, melancholic, and a hundred others when speaking about music? How do we locate these meanings within particular musical styles? These are questions that have occupied Derek Scott's thoughts and driven his critical musicological research for many years. In this selection of essays, dating from 1995-2010, he returns time and again to examining how conventions of representation arise and how they become established. Among the themes of the collection are social class, ideology, national identity, imperialism, Orientalism, race, the sacred and profane, modernity and postmodernity, and the vexed relationship of art and entertainment. A wide variety of musical styles is discussed, ranging from jazz and popular song to the symphonic repertoire and opera.


'…this is a very readable, enjoyable, thought-provoking, and interesting book, which I thoroughly recommend…' Folk Music Journal

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction; Part 1 Music Criticism and Theory: Postmodernism and music: postscript; Modernism, postmodernism and musical consensus; Bruckner's symphonies - a reinterpretation; Mimesis, gesture, and parody in musical word-setting. Part 2 Jazz and Popular Music: The Jazz Age in Britain; Light music and easy listening; The Britpop sound; The challenges of assessing popular music performance in higher education. Part 3 Orientalism, National Identity, and Ideology: Orientalism and musical style; Edward Said and the interplay of music, history, and ideology; Imagining the nation, imagining Europe. Part 4 Politics, Class and Englishness: Music and social class in Victorian London; English national identity and the comic operas of Gilbert and Sullivan; The power of music; Imperialism and anti-imperialism in 19th-century popular song; Sullivan's demonic tea-making scene: homage to Weber or parody? Part 5 Ethnicity and Race: The impact of Black performance on the 19th-century stage; A problem of race in directing Die Zauberflöte; In search of genetically modified music: race and musical style in the 19th century; Index.

About the Author

Derek B. Scott is Professor of Critical Musicology, University of Leeds, UK

About the Series

Ashgate Contemporary Thinkers on Critical Musicology Series

Ashgate Contemporary Thinkers on Critical Musicology Series

The titles in this series bring together a selection of previously published and some unpublished essays by leading authorities in the field of critical musicology. The essays are chosen from a wide range of publications and so make key works available in a more accessible form. The authors have all made a selection of their own work in one volume with an introduction which discusses the essays chosen and puts them into context. A full bibliography points the reader to other publications which might not be included in the volume for reasons of space. The previously published essays are published using the facsimile method of reproduction to retain their original pagination, so that students and scholars can easily reference the essays in their original form.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / History & Criticism