Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology

Stefanie Berganinicall for proposals0 Comments

Timothy D. Taylor and Anna Morcom are editing an Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology (as in ‘economic anthropology/history of music’). More information on the book is below.

The editors would like to invite expressions of interest for contributions to this book. These should take the form of:

  1. A short abstract (max 300 words)
  2. A short bio (max 200 words)

Please send to anna.morcom@rhul.ac.uk and tdtaylor@ucla.edu by 1 October 2017.

Chapters would need to be 7-8,000 words and delivered in 2018.

The Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology

The Oxford Handbook of Economic Ethnomusicology will develop the economics of music into a broad and diverse subfield incorporating approaches and methods from economic anthropology, economic history, and related disciplines. This will greatly expand existing studies of music and economics which have been mostly focused on pop music, music industries, and music in market economies.

The Handbook will collect a large and diverse body of work under one umbrella, incorporating work on live or preindustrial music as much as mass-produced music. It will provide essential texts to develop a broad and interdisciplinary understanding of the economics of music around the world, spanning notions of exchange, value, surplus, lack, productivity, waste, trade, materials, infrastructure, livelihoods, labour, and consumption. The book will cover the following perspectives and questions:

  •  How can we theorise music as a form of exchange in different social and economic contexts? How are forms of cultural or monetary (or other sorts of) value exchanged and produced? How far can the logics of reciprocity/gift exchange, redistribution, and rational gain or utility maximisation be seen to be at play? What is the effect of these forms of exchange on social relations?
  • What are the implications on forms of exchange and value of music’s intensely affective nature and its common association with pleasure?
  • Given that music requires time, energy, and resources (monetary and other) to exist, how is it produced and sustained in different socio-economic systems and contexts? In what ways is music seen as necessary, important, valuable or directly or indirectly economically productive; or indeed, as a luxury or a form of waste? How are resources justified or not justified?
  • How has technological change affected not just productivity or scale in music-making but notions of value and importance in recent and more distant history?
  • How far can music be seen as a means to absorb or display surpluses (as opposed to directly or indirectly producing them), and thus as an embodiment of socio-economic power?
  • How does the labour of musicians translate into (positive or negative) social and economic value in different modes of production? How do labour and value work to delineate identities and forms of inclusion and exclusion?
  • How are music’s social, cultural, stylistic, and aesthetic formations and characteristics shaped by changes in economic circumstances and availability of resources, for example, through the development of long-distance trade, industrialisation, colonialism, natural or man-made disasters, technological innovation, economic liberalisation, or economic collapse?
  • Whilst the period since the 1980s and 1990s has been described as the era of ‘globalisation’, long-distance trade has a far longer history, and the development of a ‘modern world system’ of capitalism dates to at least the fifteenth century. How does music interrelate with these global processes of economic history and trade?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *