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Western Music and Its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music Paperback – October 2, 2000

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

"[Western Music and Its Others] will be taken as an important book signalling a new turn within the field. It takes the best features of traditional, rigorous scholarship and brings these to bear upon contemporary, more speculative questions. The level of theoretical sophistication is high. The studies within it are polemical and timely and of lasting scholarly value."—Will Straw, co-editor of Theory Rules: Art as Theory/ Theory and Art

"The great value of this collection lies in the wealth of questions that it raises--questions that together crystallize the recent concerns of musicology with force and clarity. But it also lies in the authors' resistance to the easy 'postmodernist' answers that threaten to turn new musicology prematurely grey. The editors' comprehensive, intellectually adventurous introduction exemplifies the sort of eager yet properly skeptical receptivity to scholarly innovation that fosters lasting disciplinary reform. It alone is worth the price of the book." —Richard Taruskin, author of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through " Mavra"

"When cultural-studies methods first appeared in musicology 15 years ago, they triggered a storm of polemics that sometimes overshadowed the important issues being raised. As the canon wars recede, however, scholars are finding it possible to focus on the concerns that led them to cultural criticism in the first place: the study of music and its political meanings. Western Music and Its Others brings together leading musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and specialists in film and popular music to explore the ways European and North American musicians have drawn on or identified themselves in tension with the musical practices of Others. In a series of essays ranging from examination of the Orientalist tropes of early 20th-century Modernists to the tangled claims for ownership in today's World Music, the authors in this collection greatly advance both our knowledge of specific case studies and our intellectual awareness of the complexity and urgency of these problems. A timely intervention that should help push music studies to the next level." —Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form (2000)

"This collection provides a sophisticated model for using theory to interrogate music and music to interrogate theory. The essays both take up and challenge the dominance of notions of representation in cultural theory as they explore the relevance of the concepts of hybridity and otherness for contemporary art music. Sophisticated theory, erudite scholarship and a very real appreciation for the specificities of music make this a powerful and important addition to our understanding of both culture and music." —Lawrence Grossberg, author of Dancing in Spite of Myself

From the Back Cover

"[Western Music and Its Others] will be taken as an important book signalling a new turn within the field. It takes the best features of traditional, rigorous scholarship and brings these to bear upon contemporary, more speculative questions. The level of theoretical sophistication is high. The studies within it are polemical and timely and of lasting scholarly value."-Will Straw, co-editor of Theory Rules: Art as Theory/ Theory and Art "The great value of this collection lies in the wealth of questions that it raises--questions that together crystallize the recent concerns of musicology with force and clarity. But it also lies in the authors' resistance to the easy 'postmodernist' answers that threaten to turn new musicology prematurely grey. The editors' comprehensive, intellectually adventurous introduction exemplifies the sort of eager yet properly skeptical receptivity to scholarly innovation that fosters lasting disciplinary reform. It alone is worth the price of the book." -Richard Taruskin, author of Stravinsky and the Russian Traditions: A Biography of the Works Through " Mavra" "When cultural-studies methods first appeared in musicology 15 years ago, they triggered a storm of polemics that sometimes overshadowed the important issues being raised. As the canon wars recede, however, scholars are finding it possible to focus on the concerns that led them to cultural criticism in the first place: the study of music and its political meanings. Western Music and Its Others brings together leading musicologists, ethnomusicologists, and specialists in film and popular music to explore the ways European and North American musicians have drawn on or identified themselves in tension with the musical practices of Others. In a series of essays ranging from examination of the Orientalist tropes of early 20th-century Modernists to the tangled claims for ownership in today's World Music, the authors in this collection greatly advance both our knowledge of specific case studies and our intellectual awareness of the complexity and urgency of these problems. A timely intervention that should help push music studies to the next level." -Susan McClary, author of Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form (2000) "This collection provides a sophisticated model for using theory to interrogate music and music to interrogate theory. The essays both take up and challenge the dominance of notions of representation in cultural theory as they explore the relevance of the concepts of hybridity and otherness for contemporary art music. Sophisticated theory, erudite scholarship and a very real appreciation for the specificities of music make this a powerful and important addition to our understanding of both culture and music." -Lawrence Grossberg, author of Dancing in Spite of Myself --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 409 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (October 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520220846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520220843
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #746,045 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David Hesmondhalgh was born in Accrington, England in 1963. He studied at the University of Oxford, Northwestern University, and Goldsmiths, University of London, where he gained his PhD. He has a Chair in Media Industries at the University of Leeds, where he is Head of the Institute of Communications Studies. His main research interests include music, and the making of cultural goods.

He lives in a small town in the Yorkshire hills, near enough to Blackburn Rovers Football Club to be a season ticket holder, and near enough to Leeds and Bradford to enjoy live music and good food there. He is a fairly active member of the UK Green Party. His partner is Helen Steward, a philosopher, and they have two children, Rosa Hesmondhalgh and Joe Hesmondhalgh. His sister is the actor Julie Hesmondhalgh.

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Christopher W. Chase on October 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
Georgina Born and David Hesmondhalgh have edited an impressive volume, "Western Music and its Others: Difference, Representation, and Appropriation in Music." Distinguished by its multipart and very dense Introduction, the work seeks to serve as a literature review and signpost for those interested in sources and hidden centers in both western art and popular music.

The volume's essays, including many by long-standing cultural music scholars such as Richard Middleton, Simon Frith, and Philip Bohlman, seek several main goals. First, to apply portions of Orientatlist and Postcolonial theory to art and popular musics, seeking to identify in the traditions the twin poles of how Western ideology has traditionally sought the "Other"---as Same (assimilation), or as absolute Difference (projection). To this end a historical approach is used by several contributors. Second, to examine points of rupture, such as between subaltern musics, Western Modernist Art Music (like Schoenberg) and Experimental music (such as John Cage) for ways in which autonomy and difference from each other's traditions was demonstrated and non-Western music's role to that end. Third, this volumes seeks to at least temporarily collapse the distinction between Art and Popular music, so that questions about representation can be asked with regard to how both these music treat each other and other Others with regard to issues such as essentialisms, nationalisms, and race, within a global capitalist context.

While essays on the art music tradition were helpful, I found that Middleton, Frith, and John Corbett's essays to be of the most important, so I'll spend most of my time there.
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