Sociology Index


Music serves as a means of universal communication and music serves the same functions for everyone. Music is all around us. The genres and styles of music an individual likes differs from person to person. Music plays an important role in our day to day lives, we like to hear background music while shopping, we like to hear our favorite songs when we travel. One person might prefer rap while another likes country music. One person might like jazz while another person likes classical. Every person developes a particular taste because of particular culture or society in which they live. An American will immediately recognize The Star Spangled Banner, but someone living in another part of the world would not recognize or understand this song because it is not part of his culture. We can also see sociology of music in Sociology of Films.

Who Studies Sociology of Music and Why?

Musicologists developed interest in the sociological aspects of music. In the 1950s, a new form of musicology, ethnomusicology, emerged. Ethnomusicology is the study of music of different world cultures. The ethnomusicologists studied the music of various world cultures to understand the importance of music culturally. Music can play an important role in the development of different cultures and also inspire social change. Sociology of music has been an area largely left to European sociologists. Fewer occupations or cultural projects are more social than making music. Weber's Sociology of Music combines urban theory, class/labor theory, rationalization theory, and even climatic changes. Sociology of music studies the social components of music.

Production perspectives in the sociology of music: The emergence of the Production of Culture and Art Worlds perspectives in the 1970s was a pivotal moment in the study of musical production. In subsequent years, the musical production literature experienced a notable growth – both in the number of works and theoretical perspectives. This paper addresses six constraints that shape the creation, performance, and dissemination of music. - Abstract: - Timothy J. Dowd, Department of Sociology, Emory University.

Max Weber and the Sociology of Music: The sociology of music has been an area largely left to European sociologists. Fewer occupations or cultural projects are more social than making music, and the domestic sociological community's absence from the debate is deplorable given the dominant position our country possesses regarding musical production. Weber's Sociology of Music, which combines urban theory, class/labor theory, rationalization theory, and even climatic changes, is an excellent place to begin a thorough discussion of the social components of music. Our present understanding of cultural theories, urban theories, and Jurgen Habermas's Communicative Action Theory can be employed to improve on Weber's theory; toward a new approach for the study of the sociology of music. - Abstract - Alan C. Turley, Department of Sociology, State University of New York. - Journal Sociological Forum, Publisher Springer Netherlands.

Sounds and Society: Themes in the Sociology of Music - Terence J. O'Grady.
Martin effectively makes the point that one of the most important things that the theoretical perspectives of authors such as Karl Marx, David Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber can bring to the study of music is an understanding that an individual's way of thinking about or reacting to music cannot be separated from the larger social context in which that individual operates. A sociological perspective, Martin states, should at the very least keep us aware that those things often considered to be somehow "natural" or "innate" are, in fact, at least partly the result of socialization within a given culture.

The Sociology of Music - Graduate Institute of Musicology, National Taiwan University - GJen-yen Chen.
Course description: This course explores music and its interactions with human society. We shall consider the ways in which music not only reflects social structure, identity, and ideology, but actively helps to construct them. A basic premise of the course is the intimate dialectical relationship between musical sound and social meaning, and we face the challenge not only of formulating this relationship in theoretical terms but also of demonstrating it through empirical evidence. The basic principles of the sociology of music with which we will become familiar this semester can be applied to a broad range of musical repertoires.

The Social Construction of Musical Meaning. Martin carefully analyzes both the traditional empiricist and rationalist approaches to explaining meaning in music, the former characterized by a belief that music has inherent meaning and it is the listener's task to discover that meaning, and the latter characterized by a belief that the listener imposes meaning on music by means of rational faculties. The notion that meaning is socially constructed clearly flies in the face of those who view music, and particularly Western art music, as possessed of inherent meaning, a position that the author represents by the views of British musicologist Deryck Cooke.

Relationship between musical structure and social structure in various contexts and historical periods. Martin focuses on more recent theorists such as Christopher Ballantine, John Shepherd, Alan Lomax, and Susan McClary. While Martin finds each of them flawed for their partial insistence on "inherent meaning", his treatment of them is sensitive and balanced.

Music As Social Action. Martin aligns himself with the approach of Howard Becker, with the goal of developing a "sociological understanding of music that takes it to be actively and collaboratively produced in specific social contexts, rather than assuming that it represents the values of social groups or reproduces their organizational features".

The Music Business in Capitalist Society. Martin once again makes some interesting points; for example, in regard to the way in which major record companies have historically responded to the uncertainties of the popular market. This is in most respects an excellent survey of the major issues touching on the sociology of music, one that will be of significant value to scholars interested in the subject. TERENCE J. O'GRADY University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.

SOC3058 - Sociology of Music - Adorno and Beyond.
To consider some of the classic and current approaches within the sociology of music, art and literature and to exemplify these approaches with reference to empirical studies in music sociology. To examine and analyse musical phenomena in light of sociological theories and to apply key concepts from music sociology to musical data. Knowledge of key theorists in sociology, major empirical studies.

Sociology of Music and Theatre Arts
The advanced course “sociology of music and performing arts” aims at giving students insight in the basic historical and conceptual issues related to the sociology of music and performing arts.

THE SOCIOLOGY OF MUSIC, ART, AND LITERATURE - New York University, Faculty of Arts and Science, Department of Sociology. This course is addressed to those who aspire to culture in the broadest sense. The aim is to understand literary and artistic products from the vantage point of modern sociology, and thus to locate the production and circulation of cultural products in contemporary society. The purpose is to discover the methods by which such works are created, the contexts in which they are produced, and the ways in which they are received.

Soc 71: Sociology of popular music. This course concentrates on primarily reggae, dancehall, hip-hop and dance music (house to UK underground garage). These genres provide the sonic prism through which to examine: the societal conditions in which music emerges; authenticity and appropriation (how popular music thrives on borrowing customizing and reinterpreting other people's cultural property); the representation/production and consumption of music (i.e. the media and music industry), and the political and social implications of popular music (gender, race, globalization).