As a sociologist Simon Frith takes the starting point that music is the result of the play of social forces, whether as an idea, an experience or an activity. The essays in this important collection address these forces, recognising that music is an effect of a continuous process of negotiation, dispute and agreement between the individual actors who make up a music world. The emphasis is always on discourse, on the way in which people talk and write about music, and the part this plays in the social construction of musical meaning and value. The collection includes nineteen essays, some of which have had a major impact on the field, along with an autobiographical introduction.
'…these essays deserve to be re-read…they merit such attention because, most of all, in their distinctive blend of critical journalism and academic scholarship, they show what it means to take popular music seriously…' Journal of Popular Music