Musical Style and Social Meaning : Selected Essays book cover
1st Edition

Musical Style and Social Meaning
Selected Essays

ISBN 9780754629306
Published October 28, 2010 by Routledge
374 Pages

SAVE $40.00
was $200.00
USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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.

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.

View More



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


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