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music, geography of

  The cultural organization of sounds and silences; the civilization of noise. Music is an artwork and a cultural product, like architecture, literature, painting and film (cf. text). It is also a performance and consumption practice, like dance, theatre and fashion.

The Berkeley School of cultural geography inspired some early work on music, in which musical performances, music association memberships, musical listening, musicians\' birthplaces and so on took their place alongside a variety of other cultural artefacts diffusing across space, trickling down hierarchies, attaching themselves to landscapes and regions and mapping out culture areas (Ford, 1971). This \'traditional\' approach to the geography of music is exemplified in Carney (1994).

The relevance of music more broadly within human geography has taken longer to establish, for at least two reasons. First, music was the last of the arts to be approached critically within social science — a delay which initially compromised its position within a geography of cultural politics. Second, geography has traditionally been a visually oriented discipline (see vision and visuality) whose methodological emphasis has been on observation, mapping and textuality rather than on listening, sensing and performativity. However, as the role of senses other than sight in the construction of knowledge has been recognized (Pocock, 1993), sound and music have been drawn onto the mainstream research agenda. Likewise, as the differences between silence, music and noise have been accepted as markers of wider power struggles in society (Attali, 1977), the relevance of music to political, economic, social and cultural geography has become more obvious. At the same time struggles over space, place and position are proving relevant to a new, critically and politically informed musicology (cf. positionality). All this suggests that the spaces and placing of music will be of growing interest in sociological research generally, and in human geography in particular.

A range of ideas for broadening the agenda of geographies of music is laid out in Leyshon et al. (1995, 1998) and Smith (1994, 1997). It has been argued that music provides a useful critique of the discipline\'s visual ideologies; that popular music adds a new dimension to the geography of cultural politics generally, and to the social construction of Identity in particular (Kong, 1995); and that there is an economic geography of music which informs our understanding of the relationships between global and local affairs, and which illuminates the process of urban regeneration (Cohen, 1991; Hudson, 1995).

On the one hand, music has been analysed as an integral part of the production, reproduction or \'elaboration\' of civil society (Said, 1991). It is part and parcel of everyday life; and nothing that happens in the social world can be understood without taking this into account. Sound is as important as vision, listening as critical as looking, hearing on a par with seeing, and music as central as the visual arts in the study of social life. This suggests that research on the history and geography of listening practices, on the cultural construction of ways of hearing, and on the politics and poetics of musical performances, contains important clues to the socio-economic and political organization of, and the power struggles being waged within, the places in which music is made and heard (Johnson, 1995). On the other hand the production and consumption of music has an economics and a sociology of its own. Music is important among the culture industries; the management of music is a significant strand of cultural policy; and music-making has been harnessed to processes of place-marketing and the practice of urban renewal. As a result of this growing interest in every facet of the musical landscape, the sound of music is reinvigorating the study of society and space; and the place of music is reorientating the musicological imagination. (SJS)

References Attali, J. 1977: Noise. The political economy of music, trans. B. Massumi, 1985. Manchester: Manchester University Press. Carney, G.O. 1994: The sounds of people and places: a geography of American folk and popular music, 3rd edn. London: Rowman and Littlefield. Cohen, S. 1991: Popular music and urban regeneration: the music industries of Merseyside. Cultural Studies 5: 332-46. Ford, L. 1971: Geographic factors in the origin, evolution and diffusion of rock and roll music. Journal of Geography 70: 455-64. Hudson, R. 1995: Making music work? Alternative regeneration strategies in a deindustrialised locality: the case of Derwentside. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers NS 20: 460-73. Johnson, J.H. 1995: Listening in Paris. Berkeley: The University of California Press. Kong, L. 1995: Popular music in geographical analyses. Progress in Human Geography 19: 183-98. Leyshon, A., Matless, D. and Revill, G. 1995: The place of music. Transactions, Institute of British Geographers 20 (4) (special issue). Leyshon, A., Matless, D. and Revill, G. 1998: The place of music. New York: Guilford Press. Pocock, D. 1993: The senses in focus. Area 15: 11-16. Said, E. 1991: Musical elaborations. London: Vintage Books. Smith, S.J. 1994: Soundscape. Area 26: 232-40. Smith, S.J. 1997: Beyond geography\'s visible worlds: a cultural politics of music. Progress in Human Geography 21: 502-29.

Suggested Reading Leyshon et al. (1998). Smith (1997).



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