Ubiquitous Listening

How does the constant presence of music in modern life - on iPods, in shops and elevators, on television - affect the way we listen? With so much of this sound, whether imposed or chosen, only partially present to us, is the act of listening degraded by such passive listening? In "Ubiquitous Listening", Anahid Kassabian investigates the many sounds that surround us and argues that this ubiquity has led to different kinds of listening. Kassabian argues for a new examination of the music we do not normally hear (and by implication, that we do), one that examines the way it is used as a marketing tool and a mood modulator, and exploring the ways we engage with this music.

Hearing Film

Music is central to any film, creating a tone for the movie that is just as vital as the visual and narrative components. In recent years, racial and gender diversity in film has exploded, and the making of musical scores has changed drastically. Hearing Film offers the first critical examination of music in the films of the 1980s and 1990s and looks at the burgeoning role of compiled scores in the shaping of a film.

Keeping Score

The study of music is ancient, but the disciplined study of music dates back only some two centuries, and began by adapting discourse from pre-existing methods of science and the values of the arts. In the course of the 20th-century, such fields as musicology, ethnomusicology, music theory and composition have become separate disciplines, each taught and perpetuated by their own professional societies. Music has thus followed the common tendency of Western culture to divide its experience into branches of thought, but is has not yet become saturated with the self-critical historical scholarship that now dominates other disciplines. This diverse collection of essays argues for and demonstrates the effort to redefine the methods, goals and scope of musical scholarship. It gives voice to new directions in music studies, including traditional and ""new"" musicology, music and psychoanalysis, music and film, popular music studies, and gay and lesbian studies. Influenced by ongoing debates about disciplinarity, it explores the emerging and receding paradigms in the field as it accounts for the status of music disciplines in the early 1990s and points ahead to the course of musical scholarship in the coming decades. These essays speak to music study from within its own languages and enter into important conversations already taking place across disciplinary boundaries throughout the academy.

Ubiquitous Musics

Ubiquitous Musics offers a multidisciplinary approach to the pervasive presence of music in everyday life. The essays address a variety of situations in which music is present alongside other activities and does not demand focused attention from (sometimes involuntary) listeners. The contributors present different theoretical perspectives on the increasing ubiquity of music and its implications for the experience of listening. The collection consists of nine essays divided into three sections: Histories, Technologies, and Spaces. The first section addresses the historical origins of functional music and the debates on how reproduced music, including a wide range of styles and genres, spread so quickly across so many environments. The second section focuses on more contemporary sound technologies, including mobile phones in India, the role of visible playback technology in film, and listening to portable digital players. The final section reflects on settings such as malls, stores, gyms, offices and cars in which ubiquitous musics are often present, but rarely thought about. This last section - and ultimately the whole collection - seeks to foster a wider understanding of listening practices by lending a fresh, critical ear.