"In this elegantly argued book, Pedelty...probes deeply the relationship between music, especially rock and folk, and the environment... [T]he great value of Pedelty's book is that... [t]rue to his field work roots, Pedelty himself straps on a guitar in order to make music and to participate in a local music scene... Pedelty urges us to get up off our chairs and dance, sing, clap, dig, vote, and record as we move from being passive recipients of music to being active creators of the soundscape of our lives."--The Journal of Ecocriticism, January 2013 "Mark Pedelty's engaging and readable Ecomusicology brings attention to an insufficiently explored subject... Pedelty's 'search for sustainable music'... centers not so much on lyrics, but on the environmental implications of musical production and performance - a standard by which most popular rock bands on world tours fail miserably... His personal experience gives insights on both songwriting strategies and the challenges of trying to save the world while also trying to get people to listen in a crowded bar... Pedelty points the way toward a harmonious reconciliation of music-making and ecocriticism."--ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Winter 2013
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Can musicians really make the world more sustainable? Anthropologist Mark Pedelty, joined an eco-oriented band, the Hypoxic Punks, to find out. In his timely and exciting book, Ecomusicology, Pedelty explores the political ecology of rock, from local bands to global superstars. He examines the climate change controversies of U2's 360 Degrees stadium tour—deemed excessive by some—and the struggles of local folk singers who perform songs about the environment. In the process, he raises serious questions about the environmental effects and meanings on music.
Ecomusicology examines the global, national, regional, and historical contexts in which environmental pop is performed. Pedelty reveals the ecological potentials and pitfalls of contemporary popular music, in part through ethnographic fieldwork among performers, audiences, and activists. Ultimately, he explains how popular music dramatically reflects both the contradictions and dreams of communities searching for sustainability.