Published online by Cambridge University Press: 01 January 2020
What would contemporary music scholarship look like if it was no longer imprinted with the disciplinary assumptions, boundaries and divisions inherited from the last century? This article proposes that a generative model for future music studies would take the form of a relational musicology. The model is drawn from the author's work; but signs of an incipient relational musicology are found scattered across recent research in musicology, ethnomusicology, and jazz and popular music studies. In support of such a development, the article calls for a reconfiguration of the boundaries between the subdisciplines of music study – notably musicology, ethnomusicology, music sociology and popular music studies – so as to render problematic the music/social opposition and achieve a new interdisciplinary settlement, one that launches the study of music onto new epistemological and ontological terrain. In proposing this direction, the article points to the limits of the vision of interdisciplinarity in music research that is more often articulated, one that – in the guise of a turn to practice or performance – sutures together the historically inclined, humanities model of musicology with the micro-social, musicologically inclined aspects of ethnomusicology. The article suggests, moreover, that this vision obscures other sources of renewal in music scholarship: those deriving from anthropology, social theory and history, and how they infuse the recent work gathered under the rubric of a relational musicology. As an alternative to the practice turn, a future direction is proposed that entails an expanded analytics of the social, cultural, material and temporal in music. The last part of the article takes the comparativist dimension of a relational musicology to four topics: questions of the social, technology, temporality and ontology.
I am grateful to Andrew Barry, Katherine Butler Schofield, John Deathridge, Eric Drott, Byron Dueck, Katharine Ellis, Martin Stokes and Ben Walton for helpful comments. Needless to say, the idiosyncrasies that remain are mine. The paper was originally written for a study day, ‘Musical Anthropologies’, on 29 November 2008, to mark the award of the Dent Medal of the Royal Musical Association, and presented in revised form as a keynote lecture at the RMA Research Students’ Conference in January 2009 at King's College London.
1 John Langshaw Austin, How to Do Things with Words (Oxford, 1962).
2 Defining the identities of the music subdisciplines is no doubt perspectival and varies according to one's history and place within the field of research on music, as well as national setting. While I acknowledge that the term ‘musicology’ has different valencies, in this article I take it to refer to those areas of music scholarship that privilege the study of Western art music, whether historical or contemporary, and whether conducted primarily by means of formalist, historical or critical methodologies. The movement encompassed by the term ‘critical’ or ‘new musicology’ has attempted in the last 25 years to broaden the scope of musicology and bring within its compass areas of scholarship, and types of music, that were formerly marginalized. It seems to me, however, that this movement (to which I consider my own work to belong) has not yet succeeded in transforming the institutionalized prioritization of the study of Western art music, albeit – as I stress throughout this article – that generative changes are afoot.
3 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 411–36.
4 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 414–15.
5 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 419.
6 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 419.
7 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 435–6.
8 Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Musicology as a Political Act’, Journal of Musicology, 11 (1993), 418.
9 See, at the borders of cultural and popular music studies, Resistance through Rituals, ed. Stuart Hall and Tony Jefferson (London, 1976); Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style (London, 1979); and idem, Cut 'n’ Mix: Culture, Identity, and Caribbean Music (London, 1987). See also David Toop, The Rap Attack (Brooklyn, NY, 1984), and the work of an earlier generation of popular music scholars, notably Charles Keil and Paul Oliver.
10 Steven Shapin, ‘Discipline and Bounding: The History and Sociology of Science as Seen through the Externalism–Internalism Debate’, History of Science, 30 (1992), 333–69.
11 Steven Shapin, ‘Discipline and Bounding: The History and Sociology of Science as Seen through the Externalism–Internalism Debate’, History of Science, 30 (1992) 354.
12 Shapin, ‘Discipline and Bounding’, 354.
13 A number of musicologists have taken on in recent years the challenge of rethinking any strict separation between music and the social (and political), as I indicate later; nonetheless, as I argue throughout this article, it has proved to be harder than foreseen to develop adequate conceptual models. Musicology's ongoing and unresolved disciplinary tensions over the issue are, symptomatically, at the heart of Richard Taruskin's review of the recent Cambridge histories of nineteenth- and twentieth-century music: Taruskin, ‘Speed Bumps’, 19th-Century Music, 29 (2005–6), 185–207.
14 Josué V. Harari and David Bell, ‘Introduction: Journal à plusieurs voies’, Michel Serres, Hermes: Literature, Science, Philosophy, ed. Harari and Bell (Baltimore, MD, 1982), ix–xl (p. xii).
15 Michel Serres, Hermès V: Le passage du Nord-Ouest (Paris, 1980), 23–4.
16 Michel Serres, Hermès V: Le passage du Nord-Ouest (Paris, 1980) 75.
17 Michel Serres, Hermès II: L'interférence (Paris, 1980), 31–2. All the translations in this paragraph are from Harari and Bell, ‘Introduction’, Serres, Hermes, xiii–xv.
18 Lydia Goehr, The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works (Oxford, 1992); Philip V. Bohlman, ‘Ontologies of Music’, Rethinking Music, ed. Nicholas Cook and Mark Everist (Oxford, 1999), 17–34. On the comparative analysis of contrasting music ontologies of the twentieth century, see Georgina Born, ‘On Musical Mediation: Ontology, Technology and Creativity’, Twentieth-Century Music, 2 (2005), 7–36.
19 For an overview of this research, a collaboration with Dr Andrew Barry (Geography, Oxford) and Dr Gisa Weszkalnys (Social Anthropology, Exeter) funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, see < > (accessed 5 May 2010).
20 For more on these concepts, and on the theoretical findings of this research, see Andrew Barry, Georgina Born and Gisa Weszkalnys, ‘Logics of Interdisciplinarity’, Economy and Society, 37 (2008), 20–49.
21 Veronica Box Mansilla and Howard Gardner, ‘Assessing Interdisciplinary Work at the Frontier: An Empirical Exploration of “Symptoms of Quality”’, < >, p. 1 (undated, accessed 5 May 2010).
22 Chantal Mouffe, On the Political (Oxford, 2005).
23 Helga Nowotny, Peter Scott and Michael Gibbons, Re-thinking Science: Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty (Cambridge, 2001); Marilyn Strathern, Commons and Borderlands (Wantage, 2004).
24 See, for example, Michael Century, Pathways to Innovation in Digital Culture, Report for the Rockefeller Foundation, 1999.
25 Simon Shackley and Brian Wynne, ‘Integrating Knowledges for Climate Change: Pyramids, Nets and Uncertainties’, Global Environmental Change, 5 (1985), 113–26 (p. 124).
26 Andrew Barry, Political Machines: Governing a Technological Society (London, 2001); Negotiating Environmental Change: New Perspectives from Social Science, ed. Frans Berkhout, Melissa Leach and Ian Scoones (Cheltenham, 2005); Science and Citizens: Globalisation and the Challenge of Engagement, ed. Melissa Leach, Ian Scoones and Brian Wynne (London, 2005).
27 Alfred North Whitehead, Science and the Modern World (London, 1985); Sarah Whatmore, Hybrid Geographies (London, 2002); States of Knowledge: The Co-production of Science and Social Order, ed. Sheila Jasanoff (London, 2004).
28 ‘Preface’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, v–xii (p. v).
29 ‘Preface’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, x.
33 John Covach, ‘Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 469.
30 John Covach, ‘Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 452–70.
31 John Covach, ‘Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 466.
32 John Covach, ‘Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 467.
34 John Covach, ‘Popular Music, Unpopular Musicology’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 461.
35 Studies of the aesthetics of popular music include Charles Keil, ‘Motion and Feeling through Music’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 24 (1966), 337–49; idem, ‘Participatory Discrepancies and the Power of Music’, Cultural Anthropology, 2 (1987), 275–83; Andrew Chester, ‘Second Thoughts on a Rock Aesthetic: The Band’, New Left Review, 62 (1970), 75–82; Simon Frith, ‘Towards an Aesthetics of Popular Music’, Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception, ed. Richard Leppert and Susan McClary (Cambridge, 1987), 133–51; Peter Wicke, Rock Music: Culture, Aesthetics and Sociology (Cambridge, 1990); and Frith, Performing Rites: On the Value of Popular Music (Cambridge MA, 1996).
36 See Georgina Born, ‘On Modern Music Culture: Shock, Pop and Synthesis’, New Formations, 2 (1987), 51–78; eadem, ‘Against Negation, for a Politics of Cultural Production: Adorno, Aesthetics, the Social’, Screen, 34 (1993), 223–42; and eadem, Rationalizing Culture: IRCAM, Boulez, and the Institutionalization of the Musical Avant-Garde (Berkeley, CA, 1995). The foundational statement of this kind from musicology is Music and Society, ed. Leppert and McClary.
37 The following chapter in the same volume, however, is a convincing statement of the diametrically opposed view: see Suzanne G. Cusick, ‘Gender, Musicology, and Feminism’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 471–98.
38 The New (Ethno)musicologies, ed. Henry Stobart, Europea: Ethnomusicologies and Modernities, 8 (Lanham, MD, 2008).
39 Nicholas Cook, ‘We are All (Ethno)musicologists Now’, 48–70 (p. 65).
40 Nicholas Cook, ‘We are All (Ethno)musicologists Now’, 57–9.
41 For my own proposal for a post-positivist empiricism, see Georgina Born, ‘The Social and the Aesthetic: For a Post-Bourdieuian Theory of Cultural Production’, Cultural Sociology, 4 (2010), 1–38 (esp. pp. 27–8).
42 Jim Samson, ‘A View from Musicology’, The New (Ethno)musicologies, ed. Stobart, 23–7 (p. 24).
43 Jim Samson, ‘A View from Musicology’, The New (Ethno)musicologies, ed. Stobart, 25.
44 Gary Tomlinson, ‘Musicology, Anthropology, History’, The Cultural Study of Music, ed. Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (London, 2003), 31–44 (p. 42).
45 Gary Tomlinson, ‘Musicology, Anthropology, History’, The Cultural Study of Music, ed. Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (London, 2003), 37.
46 Gary Tomlinson, ‘Musicology, Anthropology, History’, The Cultural Study of Music, ed. Martin Clayton, Trevor Herbert and Richard Middleton (London, 2003) 41.
47 Cook, ‘We are All (Ethno)musicologists Now’, 58.
48 John Butt, Playing with History: The Historical Approach to Musical Performance (Cambridge, 2002), 39–40, 156.
49 I am indebted to Katherine Butler Schofield for this point.
50 Such an approach can also animate the research of cultural and music historians. The rise of reception history, to take an obvious example, is motivated by a desire to interrogate the ways in which value and affect come to be generated by, and invested by audiences and critics in, specific musical forms and repertories.
51 Born, Rationalizing Culture; eadem, Uncertain Vision: Birt, Dyke and the Reinvention of the BBC (London, 2005).
52 For an extended discussion of the ideas in this paragraph, including the concept of value communities, see Born, ‘The Social and the Aesthetic’, esp. pp. 28–30. A similar argument for promoting the agonistics of criticism when addressing questions of value, for ‘moving […] from antagonism to agonism – from enmity to productive adversariality’, is given by David Clarke in ‘Elvis and Darmstadt, or: Twentieth-Century Music and the Politics of Cultural Pluralism’, Twentieth-Century Music, 4 (2007), 3–45 (p. 40). Clarke develops his case philosophically with reference to psychoanalytical and political theory; while he is centrally concerned with the politics of what counts as music to be taught and studied in the context of contemporary pluralism, he evades the need to rethink what music is.
53 ‘Beyond Text’ is the title of a research programme initiated in 2007 by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council ‘to investigate the formation and transformations of performances, sounds, images, and objects in a wide field of social, historical and geographical contexts, tracing their reception, assimilation and adaptation across temporal and cultural boundaries’: see < > (accessed 5 May 2010).
54 While I am concerned in this article with the interdisciplinary aspects of the turn to performance and practice, it is worth acknowledging what is probably its most theoretically ambitious version, as outlined by Carolyn Abbate in ‘Music – Drastic or Gnostic?’, Critical Inquiry, 30 (2004), 505–36. Drawing on Vladimir Jankélévitch and Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht, Abbate argues for a radical shift in our understanding of music towards a focus on the temporal, carnal and social event of live performance, on music as ‘labor’ and a ‘material acoustic phenomenon’ (p. 505). She stresses the desirability of escaping hermeneutic models so as to avoid turning ‘performances or performers into yet another captured text to be examined […] via a performance science’ (p. 509). While Abbate's warning about the limits of hermeneutics is salutary, the alternatives are less clear. Gumbrecht's proposal for a phenomenology of mediated presence, for instance, is not pursued; and, via Adorno, she portrays sociological research as allied to the ‘musical hermeneutics with laboratory standards’ (p. 527 and note 50) that she seeks to transcend.
55 The work of William Weber, Tia DeNora and Derek Scott testifies to these qualities in music sociology.
56 There are striking similarities between my argument here and Peter Mandler's critique of methodological weaknesses in cultural history, which he attributes chiefly to its lack of attention to recent developments in the social sciences and social theory. In particular he stresses the benefits, when researching the social life of cultural representations and artefacts, of attending to the mechanisms of their production, circulation and institutionalization – analyses that would make it possible to explain both cultural continuities and change. Peter Mandler, ‘The Problem with Cultural History’, Cultural and Social History, 1 (2004), 94–117. My thanks to Ben Walton for this reference. Two influential texts from social and anthropological theory which advance thinking on these issues are The Social Life of Things, ed. Arjun Appadurai (Cambridge, 1986), and Alfred Gell, Art and Agency (Oxford, 1998). For applications of Gell's work to music, see Born, ‘On Musical Mediation’, and eadem, ‘Music: Ontology, Agency, Creativity’, Material Agencies: Meaning and Mattering after Alfred Gell, ed. Liana Chua and Mark Elliott (Oxford, forthcoming).
57 I refer to the work of Antoine Hennion and Tia DeNora. My own development in this area drew together Feld and other influences from ethnomusicology with a critical reading of both Adorno and Bourdieu.
58 Steven Feld, Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics and Song in Kaluli Expression (Philadelphia, PA, 1982); idem, ‘Communication, Speech, and Speech about Music’, Yearbook for Traditional Music, 16 (1984), 1–18; idem, ‘Sound Structure as Social Structure’, Ethnomusicology, 28 (1984), 383–409.
59 Alan Lomax, ‘Song Structure and Social Structure’, Ethnology, 1 (1962), 425–51.
60 There is again a strong analogy with Steven Shapin's account of debates in the history of science over the relations between the categories of ‘science’ and the ‘social’, wherein the ‘social’ has generally been protrayed as something ‘external’ to science. In response, Shapin develops an argument drawn from the sociology of science akin to Feld's for music. ‘A pervasive feature of [debates over the relative merits of externalist and internalist explanations in the history of science] has been an equation between the “external” and the “social”. From the emergence of the problematic through the 1980s most commentators have used the “social” and the “external” as synonyms. The usage is as commonplace as it is unjustifiable. There is as much “society” within the scientific community, and scientific workplaces, as there is outside them. Scientific work is no less collective and coordinated than is everyday social life. […] For at least twenty years the major […] and least contentious of the contributions of the sociology of scientific knowledge has been to provide resources for eroding such a distinction’. Shapin, ‘Discipline and Bounding’, 349–50.
61 Tomlinson, ‘Musicology, Anthropology, History’, 42–3.
62 Michel Foucault, ‘Questions of Method’, Power, ed. James Faubion, Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984, 3 (London, 2001), 223–38.
63 Pierre Bourdieu, ‘Systems of Education and Systems of Thought’, Knowledge and Control, ed. Michael F. D. Young (London, 1971), 189–207 (p. 191); see also Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production (Cambridge, 1993).
64 Foucault, ‘Questions of Method’, 227–8.
65 This approach was set out in my first publication: Born, ‘On Modern Music Culture’.
66 On the idea of analysing musical cultures as a constellation of mediations, see Georgina Born, ‘Music, Modernism and Signification’, Thinking Art: Beyond Traditional Aesthetics, ed. Andrew Benjamin and Peter Osborne (London, 1991), 157–78; eadem, ‘Understanding Music as Culture: Contributions from Popular Music Studies to a Social Semiotics of Music’, Tendenze e metodi nella ricerca musicologica, ed. Raffaele Pozzi (Florence, 1993), 211–28; and eadem, ‘On Musical Mediation’.
67 See Born, Rationalizing Culture, especially Chapter 10, ‘Subjectivities: Difference and Fragmentation’, 279–307.
68 Judith Butler, Bodies that Matter (London, 1993), 39. On the concept of the constitutive outside, see also Stuart Hall, ‘Introduction: Who Needs Identity?’, Questions of Cultural Identity, ed. Stuart Hall and Paul Du Gay (London, 1996), 1–17 (p. 3).
69 Michel Foucault, ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’, Language, Counter-Memory, Practice, ed. Donald F. Bouchard (Ithaca, NY, 1977), 139–65 (p. 162).
70 I should acknowledge that Rationalizing Culture has been criticized for treating musical modernism as too unitary and not grasping its heterogeneity, in the guise of different compositional and ideological tendencies within the modernist lineage. See Bjorn Heile, ‘Darmstadt as Other: British and American Responses to Musical Modernism’, Twentieth-Century Music, 1 (2004), 161–78. However, it is telling that Heile, by dwelling on differences within musical modernism, overlooks the insistent attempts in the book (Chapters 2, 6 and 10) to analyse the broader differentiation of twentieth-century musics by delineating a series of musical lineages according to their distinctive aesthetic, discursive, technological, ideological and political propensities: a key theme, and methodological principle, of the study.
71 Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music, ed. Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh (Berkeley, CA, and London, 2000).
72 Peter Franklin, ‘Modernism, Deception, and Musical Others: Los Angeles circa 1940’, ibid., 143–62 (p. 144).
73 Steven Feld, ‘The Poetics and Politics of Pygmy Pop’, ibid., 254–79 (p. 263).
74 Martin Stokes, ‘Afterword’, The New (Ethno)musicologies, ed. Stobart, 207–16 (pp. 212–13).
75 Ruth Finnegan, The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town (Cambridge, 1989; 2nd edn Middletown, CT, 2007), Preface to the 2007 edition, xi–xv (p. xiv). While proofing this article, I became aware of other uses of the term relational musicology, notably David A. McDonald, ‘Carrying Words Like Weapons: Hip-Hop and the Poetics of Palestinian Identities in Israel’, Min-Ad: Israeli Studies in Musicology, 7 (2009), 116–30, and Nicholas Cook, ‘Intercultural Analysis as Relational Musicology’, Critical Musicological Reflections, ed. Stan Hawkins (Farnham, forthcoming).
76 Eric Drott, Music and the Elusive Revolution: Cultural Politics and Political Culture in France, 1968–1981 (Berkeley, CA, forthcoming).
77 The methodology developed by Finnegan and Drott is in some ways paralleled by the historical music sociologies of William Weber and Derek Scott, both of whom have recently produced comparative studies of the emergence during the nineteenth century of contiguous but separate musical worlds, on occasion defined by ‘rifts’ and conflicts between them, in a number of leading cultural cities: see William Weber, The Great Transformation of Musical Taste: Concert Programming from Haydn to Brahms (Cambridge, 2008), Chapter 3, ‘Musical Idealism and the Crisis of the Old Order’, 85–121; and Derek B. Scott, Sounds of the Metropolis: The 19th-Century Popular Music Revolution in London, New York, Paris and Vienna (Oxford, 2008).
78 Alexander Rehding, ‘Wax Cylinder Revolutions’, Musical Quarterly, 88 (2005), 123–60 (pp. 132–3).
79 lexander Rehding, ‘Wax Cylinder Revolutions’, Musical Quarterly, 88 (2005), 133–4.
80 lexander Rehding, ‘Wax Cylinder Revolutions’, Musical Quarterly, 88 (2005), 144.
81 lexander Rehding, ‘Wax Cylinder Revolutions’, Musical Quarterly, 88 (2005), 148.
85 Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, ‘Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America’, Social Identities, 12 (2006), 810.
82 Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, ‘Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America’, Social Identities, 12 (2006), 803–25 (p. 813).
83 Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, ‘Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America’, Social Identities, 12 (2006) 814.
84 Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, ‘Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America’, Social Identities, 12 (2006), 817.
86 Ana Maria Ochoa Gautier, ‘Sonic Transculturation, Epistemologies of Purification and the Aural Public Sphere in Latin America’, Social Identities, 12 (2006), 820.
87 Katherine Butler Schofield, ‘Reviving the Golden Age Again: “Classicization”, Hindustani Music, and the Mughals’, Ethnomusicology, 54 (2010), 484–517 (p. 491).
88 Katherine Butler Schofield, ‘Reviving the Golden Age Again: “Classicization”, Hindustani Music, and the Mughals’, Ethnomusicology, 54 (2010) 497.
89 Katherine Butler Schofield, ‘Reviving the Golden Age Again: “Classicization”, Hindustani Music, and the Mughals’, Ethnomusicology, 54 (2010) 496.
90 George E. Lewis, ‘Improvised Music after 1950: Afrological and Eurological Perspectives’, Black Music Research Journal, 16 (1996), 91–122.
91 In developing this argument, Lewis draws on the analysis in Born, Rationalizing Culture, Chapter 2, 40–65, esp. pp. 56–65 and note 29 (p. 351).
92 Lewis, ‘Improvised Music after 1950’, 103.
93 Carl Dahlhaus, Nineteenth-Century Music, trans. J. Bradford Robinson (Berkeley, CA, 1989).
94 Benjamin Walton, Rossini in Restoration Paris: The Sounds of Modern Life (Cambridge, 2007), 250.
95 Benjamin Walton, Rossini in Restoration Paris: The Sounds of Modern Life (Cambridge, 2007), 21 (emphases added).
96 On the contagion of ideas, see the recently rediscovered and modernized social theory of Gabriel Tarde: The Social after Gabriel Tarde, ed. Matei Candea (London, 2009).
97 Walton, Rossini in Restoration Paris, 251.
98 Walton, Rossini in Restoration Paris, 235.
99 Walton, Rossini Restoration Paris, 234.
100 Walton, Rossini Restoration Paris, 21.
101 Butler, Bodies that Matter, 8.
102 To clarify this critical point: anthropology, sociology and history stand as much to be transformed by an orientation towards music and music's mediation of social, cultural and temporal processes as do the music disciplines through growing exchanges with the social sciences and history. This is one aim of my current research, which brings insights from music to bear on contemporary social theory.
103 Lawrence Kramer, Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History (Berkeley, CA, 2002), 1.
104 Lawrence Kramer, Musical Meaning: Toward a Critical History (Berkeley, CA, 2002), 26.
105 On the concept of musically imagined community, see Georgina Born, ‘Afterword: Music Policy, Aesthetic and Social Difference’, Rock and Popular Music: Politics, Policies, Institutions, ed. Tony Bennett, Simon Frith, Lawrence Grossberg et al. (London, 1993), 266–92, esp. pp. 281–8; and Georgina Born, ‘Introduction: On Difference, Representation and Appropriation in Music’, Western Music and its Others, ed. Born and Hesmondhalgh, 1–58, ‘IV: Music and the Representation of Sociocultural Identities’ (pp. 31–7) and ‘V: Techniques of the Musical Imaginary’ (pp. 37–47).
106 Mark Everist, ‘Reception Theories, Canonic Discourses, and Musical Value’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 378–402 (pp. 385, 393, 397).
107 Born, Rationalizing Culture, Chapter 2, ‘Prehistory: Modernism, Postmodernism, and Music’, 40–65, and Chapter 3, ‘Background: IRCAM's Conditions of Existence’, 66–101.
108 For studies of canon formation that employ a similar social analytics, uncovering the institutions, practices and ideologies that support the process while also attesting its historical diversity, see Tia DeNora, Beethoven and the Construction of Genius (Berkeley, CA, 1995), and Katharine Ellis, ‘The Structures of Musical Life’, The Cambridge History of Nineteenth Century Music, ed. Jim Samson (Cambridge, 2001), 343–70.
109 On the productivity of crossing scales in the analysis of ethnographic and historical material, see the anthropologist Marilyn Strathern's notion of the relation, which ‘brings together phenomena of quite different scale’ and which, through cross-scalar analysis, can attend to the complexity of conditions and causalities. Marilyn Strathern, The Relation: Issues in Complexity and Scale (Cambridge, 1995).
110 On Transglobal Underground see David Hesmondhalgh, ‘International Times: Fusions, Exoticism, and Antiracism in Electronic Dance Music’, Western Music and its Others, ed. Born and Hesmondhalgh, 280–304.
111 Louise Meintjes, ‘The Politics of the Recording Studio’, The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, ed. Nicholas Cook, Eric Clarke, Daniel Leech-Wilkinson and John Rink (Cambridge, 2009), 84–97.
112 Robert Adlington, ‘Organizing Labour: Composers, Performers, and “the Renewal of Musical Practice” in the Netherlands, 1969–72’, Musical Quarterly, 90 (2007), 539–77 (p. 554).
113 Through the idea of musical practice as having the potential to produce a ‘space of exception’ I intend to create a resonance with Giorgio Agamben's concept of the ‘state of exception’, but through its inversion. Agamben charts the exceptional augmentation of state power such that what were provisional arrangements become normal modes of government, with the capacity to turn democratic into totalitarian regimes. In contrast, I intend to highlight how musical practice may on occasion be created or experienced as an exceptional space apart from the normal structures of social life, and imagined to have alternative or transformative properties in relation to them. Giorgio Agamben, State of Exception (Chicago, IL, 2005).
114 Two examples, with quite different political orientations, were Cornelius Cardew's Scratch Orchestra (see Michael Nyman, Experimental Music (New York, 1974), 112–18) and the Chicago-based African-American jazz collective, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (see George E. Lewis, A Power Stronger than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music (Chicago, IL, 2008)).
115 CHARM was funded by the AHRC from 2004 to 2009: see < > (accessed 5 May 2010). For a fuller version of the ideas in this section see Georgina Born, ‘Afterword: Recording – From Reproduction to Representation to Remediation’, The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, ed. Cook et al., 286–304.
116 For my own statement on this, see Born, ‘On Musical Mediation’; on anthropological approaches to theorizing materiality in art and cultural production, see Born, ‘The Social and the Aesthetic’, esp. pp. 12–18. See also Abbate's cogent argument (‘Music – Drastic or Gnostic?’) that musicology must embrace music's material and technological mediations.
117 See, for example, Edward Kealy, ‘From Craft to Art: The Case of Sound Mixers and Popular Music’, Work and Occupations, 6 (1979), 3–29; Hebdige, Cut 'n’ Mix; Antoine Hennion, Les professionnels du disque: Une sociologie des variétés (Paris, 1981); Chris Cutler, ‘Technology, Politics, and Contemporary Music’, Popular Music, 4 (1984), 279–300; David Toop, The Rap Attack: African Jive to New York Hip-Hop (London, 1984); Paul Théberge, ‘The “Sound” of Music: Technological Rationalisation and the Production of Popular Music’, New Formations, 8 (1989), 99–111; Andew Goodwin, ‘“Sample and Hold”: Pop Music in the Digital Age of Reproduction’, On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word, ed. Simon Frith and Andrew Goodwin (London, 1990), 258–73; Steve Jones, Rock Formation: Music, Technology and Mass Consumption (London, 1992); Tricia Rose, Black Noise: Rap Music and Black Culture in Contemporary America (Middleton, NH, 1994); and Théberge, Any Sound You Can Imagine: Making Music/Consuming Technology (Middleton, NH, 1997).
118 See, inter alia, Peter Manuel, Cassette Culture: Popular Music and Technology in North India (Chicago, IL, 1993); Music and Technoculture, ed. Rene T. A. Lysloff and Leslie C. Gay, Jnr (Middletown, CT, 2003); Louise Meintjes, Sound of Africa! Making Music Zulu in a South African Studio (Durham, NC, 2003); and Wired for Sound: Engineering and Technologies in Sonic Cultures, ed. Paul D. Greene and Thomas Porcello (Middletown, CT, 2005).
119 See, for example, the burgeoning work of Nicholas Cook in this area: The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, ed. Cook et al.; ‘Beyond Reproduction’, Inaugural Lecture, University of Cambridge (2 December 2009); and ‘Performance, Recording, Signification’, Music Semiotics: A Network of Significations – In Honor of Raymond Monelle, ed. Esti Sheinberg (Farnham, forthcoming), in which he advocates a semiotic approach to performance and recording, proposing that both are aesthetically imbued creative acts that produce new musical representations, representations that are necessarily experienced by reference to given genres (of performance or recording) and that therefore partake in culture and history.
120 Philip Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (London, 1999), 31.
121 Philip Auslander, Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (London, 1999), 53.
122 Paul Berliner, Thinking in Jazz: The Infinite Art of Improvisation (Chicago, IL, 1994); Ingrid Monson, Saying Something: Jazz Improvisation and Interaction (Chicago, IL, 1996).
123 Berliner, Thinking in Jazz, 96, 98.
124 Susan Tomes, ‘Learning to Live with Recording’, The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, ed. Nicholas Cook et al., 10–12 (p. 10).
125 Susan Tomes, ‘Learning to Live with Recording’, The Cambridge Companion to Recorded Music, ed. Nicholas Cook et al. 11.
126 Leo Treitler, ‘The Historiography of Music: Issues of Past and Present’, Rethinking Music, ed. Cook and Everist, 356–77 (p. 356).
127 Kevin Korsyn, ‘Beyond Privileged Contexts: Intertextuality, Influence, and Dialogue’, ibid., 55–72 (p. 66).
128 Kevin Korsyn, ‘Beyond Privileged Contexts: Intertextuality, Influence, and Dialogue’, 64–5; the reference is to Michel Foucault, The Archaeology of Knowledge, trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith (New York, 1972), 169.
129 See, inter alia, Nicholas Thomas, Out of Time: History and Evolution in Anthropological Discourse (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989); Alfred Gell, The Anthropology of Time (Oxford, 1992); and Wendy James and David Mills, The Qualities of Time: Anthropological Approaches (Oxford, 2005).
130 See, inter alia, Nicholas Thomas, Out of Time: History and Evolution in Anthropological Discourse (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989); Alfred Gell, The Anthropology of Time (Oxford, 1992); and Wendy James and David Mills, The Qualities of Time: Anthropological Approaches (Oxford, 2005), 9.
131 Christopher Pinney, ‘Things Happen: Or, From Which Moment Does That Object Come?’, Materiality, ed. Daniel Miller (Durham, NC, 2005), 256–72 (p. 264).
132 Hayden White, ‘Foreword’, Reinhart Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History (Palo Alto, CA, 2002), ix–xiv (p. xii).
133 Koselleck, The Practice of Conceptual History, 24–5.
134 On the plural existence and the limits of discourses on music, see Gianmario Borio's distinction between three levels of poetics associated with musical works: philosophical aesthetics, the explicit musical poetics in composers’ own writings, and the implicit musical poetics manifest in the ‘technical structures of their works’. Gianmario Borio, ‘Dire cela, sans savoir quoi: The Question of Meaning in Adorno and in the Musical Avant-Garde’, Apparitions: New Perspectives on Adorno and Twentieth-Century Music, ed. Berthold Hoeckner (London, 2006), 41–67 (p. 41).
135 Pinney, ‘Things Happen’, 265–6 (emphases added). Pinney's anthropological critique of reflectionist theories of art history is paralleled by Mandler's questioning of ‘mirror’ accounts of the relationship of art and cultural context prevalent in cultural history (Mandler, ‘The Problem with Cultural History’, 107–9).
136 For three takes on the idea of a musical event, see Tia DeNora, After Adorno: Rethinking Music Sociology (Cambridge, 2003), 45–56; Abbate, ‘Music – Drastic or Gnostic?’, 509 and thereafter; and Georgina Born, ‘Listening, Mediation, Event’, Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 135, Special Issue 1 (2010), 79–89, esp. pp. 87–8.
137 Let me clarify that the four modes of temporality outlined here are not intended to be exhaustive. I mention them to highlight the utility of pluralizing the analysis of temporality in the creation of music (and art), and particularly to indicate the conceptual openings afforded by this move.
138 Alfred Schutz, ‘Making Music Together’, Collected Papers, 4 vols., Phaenomenologica, 11, 15, 22, 136 (The Hague, 1962–96), ii: Studies in Social Theory, ed. Arvid Brodersen (1971), 159–78.
139 Jonathan D. Kramer, ‘New Temporalities in Music’, Critical Inquiry, 7 (1981), 539–56 (p. 552). See also his The Time of Music: New Meanings, New Temporalities, New Listening Strategies (New York, 1988).
140 Kramer, ‘New Temporalities in Music’, 545.
141 Kramer, ‘New Temporalities in Music’, 553.
142 See Gell, Art and Agency, Chapter 9, for an extension of Husserl to the analysis of the artistic oeuvre as an object distributed in time; and for an extension of Gell's Husserlian theory to music, see Born, ‘On Musical Mediation’, esp. pp. 20–4.
143 An exemplary analysis of the third mode of temporality comes from popular music studies. Will Straw, in ‘Systems of Articulation, Logics of Change: Scenes and Communities in Popular Music’, Cultural Studies, 5 (1991), 368–88, identifies the distinctive generic temporalities (and spatialities) constructed by two historically coexistent popular music genres, industrial rock and electronic dance music, and their respective subcultures. See also, from art history, James Ackerman, ‘A Theory of Style’, Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 20 (1962), 227–37; from literary theory, Hans Robert Jauss, Towards an Aesthetics of Reception (Minneapolis, MN, 1982); and, from media theory, John Caughie, ‘Adorno's Reproach: Repetition, Difference and Television Genre’, Screen, 32 (1991), 127–53, and Born, ‘Against Negation’.
144 On the significance of these metacategories, see, from art history, Ackerman, ‘A Theory of Style’, and, from philosophy and art theory, Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde (London, 1995).
145 Steven Feld, ‘Aesthetics as Iconicity of Style’, Chapter 4 of Charles Keil and Steven Feld, Music Grooves (Chicago, IL, 1994), 109–96 (p. 138).
146 Ackerman, ‘A Theory of Style’, 236.
147 Born, Rationalizing Culture, 325–6 and, generally, Chapter 11.
148 On the concept of anti-invention see Born, Rationalizing Culture; Barry, Political Machines, Chapter 9; and idem, ‘Political Invention’, Technoscience: The Politics of Invention, ed. Kristin Asdal, Brita Brenna and Ingunn Moser (Oslo, 2007), 287–308, esp. pp. 297–301.
149 Examples of the ontological turn include Annemarie Mol, The Body Multiple: Ontology in Medical Practice (Durham, NC, and London, 2002); Bruno Latour, War of the Worlds: What About Peace? (Chicago, IL, 2002); Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, ‘Perspectival Anthropology and the Method of Controlled Equivocation’, keynote lecture, Meeting of the Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America, Florida, January 2004; and Thinking Through Things: Theorising Artefacts Ethnographically, ed. Amiria Henare, Martin Holbraad and Sari Wastell (London, 2007).
150 On value and provisional criticism, see Born, ‘The Social and the Aesthetic’, 28–30.
151 Koselleck articulates a similar concern with the conceptual inertia and circularity that tend to reproduce our basic categories of thought: ‘all metahistorical categories [turn] into historical statements. Reflecting on this […] is one of the research tasks of historical anthropology and of any kind of history’ (The Practice of Conceptual History, 3).