Ubiquitous Musics offers a multidisciplinary approach to the pervasive presence of music in everyday life. The essays address a variety of situations in which music is present alongside other activities and does not demand focused attention from (sometimes involuntary) listeners. The contributors present different theoretical perspectives on the increasing ubiquity of music and its implications for the experience of listening. The collection consists of nine essays divided into three sections: Histories, Technologies, and Spaces. The first section addresses the historical origins of functional music and the debates on how reproduced music, including a wide range of styles and genres, spread so quickly across so many environments. The second section focuses on more contemporary sound technologies, including mobile phones in India, the role of visible playback technology in film, and listening to portable digital players. The final section reflects on settings such as malls, stores, gyms, offices and cars in which ubiquitous musics are often present, but rarely thought about. This last section - and ultimately the whole collection - seeks to foster a wider understanding of listening practices by lending a fresh, critical ear.
’The diverse chapters collected in this book address the ways in which our contexts of action are nearly always musicalized. Ubiquitous Musics tells us about popular and folk music� in the broadest - and most powerful - manner possible and contributes richly to the study of organizations and everyday life.’ Tia DeNora, University of Exeter, UK 'This volume accepts the world as a place that is full of sounds that come to us uninvited or that we utilize for a number of purposes other than pure listening pleasure … This innovative book should get people to listen in new and enlightening ways to the continuous music that surrounds us all'. Rock Music Studies ’… recommended for academic libraries serving departments of musicology, sociology, communication, and history’. Music Reference Services Quarterly 'In a sense, Ubiquitous Musics itself is a call to action. Although modest in size, this impressive collection is ambitious in its scope and goals, and by offering a sampling of the history of ubiquitous music and the technologies and spaces through which it is mediated, we are - in the best sense - left wanting more.' Technology and Culture 'This collection, and the idea of ubiquitous musics, provides music scholars with a conceptual and disciplinary space for addressing the vast amounts of non-structural musical consumption that occurs globally.' Music Research Forum ’… readers from many academic disciplines will find something within these pages to which they will want to give nothing less than their full, undivided attention’. Popular Music
Contents: Foreword; Introduction: a day in the life of a ubiquitous musics listener, Elena Boschi, Anahid Kassabian and Marta GarcÃa QuiÃ±ones; Part I Histories: Caliban’s ear: a short history of ambient music, Lawrence Kramer; Early mood music: Edison’s phonography, American modernity and the instrumentalization of listening, Tony Grajeda; Radio symphonies: the BBC, everyday listening and the popular classics debate during the people’s war, Christina Baade. Part II Technologies: Sound, perception and mobile phones in India, Amit S. Rai; Seen and heard: visible playback technology in film, Tim McNelis and Elena Boschi; Body and context in mobile listening to digital players, Marta Garcia QuiÃ±ones. Part III Spaces: The non-aggressive music deterrent, Jonathan Sterne; An anthropology of soundtracks in gym centres, Serena Facci; Taboo listening (or, what kind of attention?), Franco Fabbri; Bibliography; Index.
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.