In this pioneering new book, Dr Martin presents a lively and accessible introduction to the social analysis of music.
Dr Martin argues that musical meaning must be understood as socially constructed, rather than inherent, and that the notion of a correspondence between social and musical structures is highly problematic. An alternative approach, based on the ‘social action’ pespective is outlined, and the book concludes with a discussion of the social situation of music in advanced capitalist society. Along the way, leading thinkers are introduced: Adorno, Weber and Schntz as well as, more recently, John Shepherd and the feminist musicologists. The book draws on studies spanning the whole spectrum of Western music - rock bands to symphony orchestras, medieval plainchant to avant-garde jazz and concludes with a discussion of the social situation of music in advanced capitalist society.