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Empirical MusicologyAims, Methods, Prospects$
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Eric Clarke and Nicholas Cook

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167498.001.0001

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Musical Practice and Social Structure: A Toolkit

Musical Practice and Social Structure: A Toolkit

(p.35) CHAPTER 3 Musical Practice and Social Structure: A Toolkit
Empirical Musicology

Tia DeNora

Oxford University Press

This chapter seeks to counterbalance the influence of T. W. Adorno, particularly evident in the “New” musicology of the 1990s, by proposing an agenda for the sociology of music that is focused firmly on people making music. It outlines a “toolkit” of different empirical approaches for the analysis of music as a social process, focusing on in its role in people's everyday lives and in identity construction. There is discussion of work that has examined the impact of social factors on composition, including that of commercial competition on innovation in pop music; social factors in the construction of musicians' reputations; the relationship between sub-cultural identity and musical taste; and music's role in the social construction of subjectivity. These studies use empirical methods ranging from participant observation, through interviews and the analysis of historical documents, to the more impersonal methods of large-scale social statistics and economic surveys.

Keywords:   T. W. Adorno, sociology, identity, taste, subjectivity, commercial competition, pop music

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