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Toward a Naturalized Aesthetics of Film Music

An Interdisciplinary Exploration of Intramusical and Extramusical Meaning

Timothy Justus

Intramusical and Extramusical Meaning In Howards End (1910), E.M. Forster beautifully captured an essential question in the cognitive science of music. Early in the story, the Schlegel siblings attend a performance of Beethoven's Fifth

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Staging Sassoun

Memory and Music Video in Post-Soviet Armenia

Rik Adriaans

straight from an ethnographic museum, and high-definition footage of an impressive range of crumbling churches. The music video for the song “Mayro” by patriotic singer Aghasi Ispiryan suddenly meta-morphoses into an educational epilogue that draws

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Soheila Shahshahani

This article aims to contextualise music as it was experienced in Tehran in 2004 (when the research for this work was conducted) - music that comes from various ethnic groups within Iran, and music coming from the diaspora. The relationships between various genres of music and people, as well as between music and the government, are examined. The malleability of musicians and their capacity to coordinate their expertise with popular and governmental expectations and limitations are then analysed. In this way, a fascinating yet little studied area in the anthropology of Iran at the time of research is addressed.

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Boys on the Outer

Themes in Male Engagement with Music

Scott Harrison

This paper examines the cause of exclusionary practices in music, documenting the core values that underpin this issue in relation to males’ engagement with music. The focus for the paper is on the way in which gender has been one of the primary principles for the exclusion of boys, based on presumptions without foundation except in the erroneous hegemonic stereotypical images that prevail in social institutions such as schools. Through historical investigation of philosophy and practice combined with results from interviews with participants, the study reveals experiences in relation to genderbased exclusion from music. It concludes by offering an insight into approaches that deal with addressing this issue.

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The Power of Music

Issues of Agency and Social Practice

Norman Long

This article aims to contribute to the increasingly rich body of ethnographic and sociological studies that focus on processes of musical practice. After a brief introduction to the significance of music in social life, it outlines the advantages of adopting an actor-oriented analysis that gives close attention to issues of agency and emergent socio-cultural forms. This is followed by a brief encounter with the dynamics of musical performance as perceived by members of the Guarneri Quartet, after which two contrasting musical scenarios are analyzed in depth. The first focuses on music and ritual practices in the Peruvian Andes, and the second on the English musical renaissance of the early twentieth century. The article closes with a brief comment on the need to examine in depth the social components of musical composition and performance.

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Sexy Shapes

Girls Negotiating Gender through Popular Music

Ann Werner

This article is based on ethnographic fieldwork done with a group of 14 to 16 year-old girls in a medium sized Swedish town. The study aimed to investigate the relationship between everyday music use and gender, ethnicity and sexuality. The question posed here is: "What negotiations take place when the girls discuss their favorite music and artists?" Research in response to this question shows that the identity work of negotiating how to be a teenage girl often relates to popular culture. The sample focuses on girls from Swedish, Bosnian, Turkish and Syrian backgrounds. In this article I report on the local ideas about gender and ethnicity claimed by the girls to influence their discussion of music, dress and behavior, as well as the desires that I argue structure such discussion. This research supports contemporary findings that mainstream popular music has cultural and social significance in young girls' lives.

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Sakha Music Business

Mission, Contracts, and Social Relations in the Developing Post-Socialist Market Economy

Aimar Ventsel

This article is about the Sakha music business and the people involved in it. It discusses different strategies of making music and shows that different music genres have their own setting of social relations. Due to the specific economic and social situation, social relations in the music business are often informal. The classic theory of the cultural industry states that producing music is a calculated market economy-oriented activity. This article questions such an approach and shows that social and cultural ideas are present in the music-making process. The Sakha music business cannot be seen as only a profit-oriented sphere. Whereas producers and musicians are interested in formal, contract-based relations in purely economic cases, the informality maintains its importance. Ideas of solidarity and mutual support are linked to the perception of being in one music community, which uses different elements of Sakha culture in their music. As is demonstrated in the article, incorporation of Sakha motives is not only a marketing strategy but also a way for musicians and producers to act as carriers of the Sakha culture whose mission is to develop it.

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Crafting Alternative Femininities on the Public Stage

Women Performers of Ethnic Music in Contemporary Istanbul

Alexandra Courchesne

This article investigates the strategies women performers of ethnic music in contemporary Istanbul employ to escape the common associations of women of 'loose morals' and to craft alternative femininities on the public stage. How have women playing this music genre been able to do so while, at the same time, gaining and maintaining social respectability? Drawing on fieldwork in Istanbul, the article argues that ethnic music provides better opportunities for women to build their musical careers and to be perceived seriously for their artistic talents. Ethnic music's specific audience, locus of performance, repertoire, flexibility in dress codes and its performers' frequent associations with feminist organisations are all factors helping women to shape their own interpretation of what a woman musician in the twenty-first century could be.

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The End Is Where We Start From

Communicating the Impact of a Family Music Project to Wider Audiences

Jude Robinson

There has been increasing pressure for anthropologists to communicate their ideas and thinking to new publics and so actively engage in national and international debates relating to their field. However, this is not an unproblematic practice and the politics of representation requires anthropologists to consider the sometimes conflicting dimensions of the moral, ethical, political, social, personal and academic. My fieldwork with families linked to In Harmony Liverpool, a children's music project in England, involved inviting participants variously to take part in interviews, draw maps of musical sites in their homes, construct playlists of favourite songs and take photographs of sites in their homes where music 'happens'. As my aim is to produce a visual and audio display to communicate with wider audiences, I consider the issues of representation, authenticity, potential damage and 'othering' in the planning of the research and how this shaped data collection and the plans for dissemination.

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Reading Production and Culture

UK Teen Girl Comics from 1955 to 1960

Joan Ormrod

Teen girl comics appeared in the mid-1950s, a pivotal moment in popular culture when the teenage girl was identified as a member of a potentially lucrative market, and American culture began to pervade British teenage music, fashion, and attitudes