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Would You Like Some World Music with your Latte? Starbucks, Putumayo, and Distributed Tourism


Through an examination of the labels Hear Music and Putumayo and their place in coffee shops and retail stores on the one hand, and of world music scholarship on the other, I argue that listening to world music in public spaces demands new theoretical perspectives. The kinds of tourism that take place in listening to world music inattentively suggest a kind of bi-location. Borrowing from quantum mechanics, I suggest that the term ‘entanglement’ might offer some insight into this bi-location and the ‘distributed tourism’ that I argue is taking place.

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This article is enormously improved for the generous input of staff and students at McGill University (Canada), University of Newcastle (UK), Universita La Sapienza (Italy), University of North Texas (US), and the participants in the La Caixa Forum in Barcelona on Background Listening in 2003.
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Twentieth-Century Music
  • ISSN: 1478-5722
  • EISSN: 1478-5730
  • URL: /core/journals/twentieth-century-music
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