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Good MusicWhat It Is and Who Gets to Decide$
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John J. Sheinbaum

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226593241

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226593418.001.0001

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Connected: What’s at Stake in How We Love the Music We Love?

Connected: What’s at Stake in How We Love the Music We Love?

(p.216) 7 Connected: What’s at Stake in How We Love the Music We Love?
Good Music

John J. Sheinbaum

University of Chicago Press

This chapter addresses the importance of thinking critically about the discourse writers bring to music and the implicit ideologies transmitted to close listeners and musicians themselves. Our semantic limitations are profound: language evoking the serious, the authentic, or the original is shot through with positive implications, and expressions of mixture or hybridity almost inevitably resonate as undesirable. Yet across manifold time periods, contexts, styles, and genres, there is often an important gap between traces of reception, whether from scholarship, critical discourse, or popular reactions, and the processes that went into creating the music, along with the art that resulted—the “music itself.” This is true for examples with somewhat checkered reception histories, but also for repertoires often seen to be defining examples of a particular set of musical practices. Instead of metaphors related to a narrow sort of goodness, the chapter argues for a discourse of “connected” music: composers initiate dialogues with performers, works interact with other cultural expressions within and beyond music, and communities of listeners engage deeply with what and how they hear.

Keywords:   authentic, connected, critical discourse, dialogues, hybridity, ideology, mixture, original, reception, serious

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