National Phonography: Field Recording, Sound Archiving, and Producing the Nation in Music

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National Phonography: Field Recording, Sound Archiving, and Producing the Nation in Music
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Nationalism is back at the top of the political agenda across Europe, in America, and throughout other regions of the world. Music is embroiled in these developments, and the resurgence of nationalism has run in parallel with an explosion of interest in historical field recordings of traditional musics. Interpreted as truthful transmissions of national pasts, these field recordings tend to be understood as existing outside of mass culture and mass mediation, feeding into desires for national purity and for authentic expressions of nationness.

National Phonography challenges this idea, listening to how field recording and sound archiving have been used to bring nations into being and examining how they are just as intertwined with mass media and standard recording practices as other musics. Tom Western rethinks the very idea of national music, positing it as a form of cultural production and sonic creation that is also built upon acts of silencing, with dangerous effects on the present. This book asks several bodies of literature-on traditional musics, folk revivals, sound archives, histories of sound recording, and historical ethnomusicology-to reconsider the relations between music, sound, technology, territory, archives, nations and borders.

ISBN: 
9781501338885
Author: 
Publisher: 
Binding: 
Paperback
Publication Date: 
January 9, 2020