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Music and Digital Media

A planetary anthropology

Edited by Georgina Born

£60.00

ISBN: 9781800082458

Publication: September 12, 2022

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Anthropology has neglected the study of music and this needs to be redressed. This book sets out to show how and why. It does so by bringing music to the subfield of digital anthropology, arguing that digital anthropology has much to gain by expanding its horizons to music – becoming more interdisciplinary by reference to digital/media studies, music and sound studies.

Music and Digital Media is the first comparative ethnographic study of the impact of digital media on music worldwide. It offers a radical and lucid new theoretical framework for understanding digital media through music, showing that music is today where the promises and problems of the ‘digital’ assume clamouring audibility – while acting as a testing ground for innovations in the digital-cultural industries. The book contains ten chapters, eight of which present comprehensive original ethnographies. The chapters between them addresses popular, folk and art musics in the global South and North, including Kenya, Argentina, India, Canada and the UK/Europe, with each chapter providing a different regional or digital focus.

The book is unique in bringing ethnographic research on popular, folk and art musics from the global North and South into a comparative framework on a large scale, and creates an innovative new paradigm for comparative anthropology.

Praise for Music and Digital Media
‘This exciting volume forges new ground in the study of local conditions, institutions, and sounds of digital music in the Global South and North. The book’s planetary scope and its commitment to the “messiness” of ethnographic sites and concepts amplifies emergent configurations and meanings of music, the digital, and the aesthetic.’
Marina Peterson, University of Texas, Austin

'The global drama of music's digitisation elicits extreme responses – from catastrophe to piratical opportunism – but between them lie more nuanced perspectives. This timely, absolutely necessary collection applies anthropological understanding to a deliriously immersive field, bringing welcome clarity to complex processes whose impact is felt far beyond what we call music.'
David Toop, London College of Communication

‘Spanning continents and academic disciplines, the rich ethnographies contained in Music and Digital Media makes it obligatory reading for anyone wishing to understand the complex, contradictory, and momentous effects that digitization is having on musical cultures.’
Eric Drott, University of Texas, Austin

‘This superb collection, with an authoritative overview as its introduction, represents the state of the art in studies of the digitalisation of music. It is also a testament to what anthropology at its reflexive best can offer the rest of the social sciences and humanities.’
David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds

Music and Digital Media is a groundbreaking update to our understandings of sound, media, digitization, and music. Truly transdisciplinary and transnational in scope, it innovates methodologically through new models for collaboration, multi-sited ethnography, and comparative work. It also offers an important defense of—and advancement of—theories of mediation.’
Jonathan Sterne, McGill University

'Music and Digital Media is a nuanced exploration of the burgeoning digital music scene across both the global North and the global South. Ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated, this collection will become the new standard for this field.'
Anna Tsing, co-editor of Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene

Georgina Born is Professor of Anthropology and Music at UCL, and she directed the ‘Music, Digitisation, Mediation’ research programme. She has performed in experimental rock, jazz and improvised musics, and her scholarship combines ethnographic and theoretical writings on music and digital/media.

List of figures
List of contributors
Acknowledgements

1 Introduction: music, digitisation and mediation - for a planetary antropology
Georgia Born
2. Soundtracks in the silicon savannah: digital production and aesthetic entrepreneurship in Nairobi, Kenya.
Andrew J. Eisenberg
3. ‘In the waiting room’: digitisation and post-neoliberalism in Buenos Aires' independent music sector

Geoff Baker
4. Oral traditions in the aural public sphere: digital archiving of vernacular musics in North India
Aditi Deo
5. Online music consumption and the formalisation of informality: exchange, labour and sociality in two music platforms
Blake Durham and Georgina Born
6. Max, music software, and the mutual mediation of aesthetics and digital technologies  
Joe Snape and Georgina Born
7. Remediating modernism: on the digital ends of Montreal’s electroacoustic tradition
Patrick Valiquet
8. The dynamics of pluralism in contemporary digital art music
Georgina Born
9. Music and intermediality after the internet: aesthetics, materialities and social forms
Christopher Haworth and Georgina Born
10. Postlude: musical-anthropological comparativism – across scales
Georgina Born

Index

‘This exciting volume forges new ground in the study of local conditions, institutions, and sounds of digital music in the Global South and North. The book’s planetary scope and its commitment to the “messiness” of ethnographic sites and concepts amplifies emergent configurations and meanings of music, the digital, and the aesthetic.’ - Marina Peterson, University of Texas, Austin


 
'The global drama of music's digitisation elicits extreme responses – from catastrophe to piratical opportunism – but between them lie more nuanced perspectives. This timely, absolutely necessary collection applies anthropological understanding to a deliriously immersive field, bringing welcome clarity to complex processes whose impact is felt far beyond what we call music.' - David Toop, London College of Communication
 
‘Spanning continents and academic disciplines, the rich ethnographies contained in Music and Digital Media makes it obligatory reading for anyone wishing to understand the complex, contradictory, and momentous effects that digitization is having on musical cultures.’ - Eric Drott, University of Texas, Austin
 

‘This superb collection, with an authoritative overview as its introduction, represents the state of the art in studies of the digitalisation of music. It is also a testament to what anthropology at its reflexive best can offer the rest of the social sciences and humanities.’ - David Hesmondhalgh, University of Leeds


 

Music and Digital Media is a groundbreaking update to our understandings of sound, media, digitization, and music. Truly transdisciplinary and transnational in scope, it innovates methodologically through new models for collaboration, multi-sited ethnography, and comparative work. It also offers an important defense of—and advancement of—theories of mediation.’ - Jonathan Sterne, McGill University


 

'Music and Digital Media is a nuanced exploration of the burgeoning digital music scene across both the global North and the global South. Ethnographically rich and theoretically sophisticated, this collection will become the new standard for this field.' - Anna Tsing, co-editor of Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene


 

Format: Hardback

Size: 234 × 156 mm

556 Pages

Copyright: © 2022

ISBN: 9781800082458

Publication: September 12, 2022

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