Why Music Matters, 1st Edition

  • Published By:
  • ISBN-10: 1118535812
  • ISBN-13: 9781118535813
  • DDC: 781.1
  • Grade Level Range: College Freshman - College Senior
  • 204 Pages | eBook
  • Original Copyright 2013 | Published/Released March 2014
  • This publication's content originally published in print form: 2013

  • Price:  Sign in for price



In what ways does music enrich the lives of people and of societies? What prevents it from doing so? In this carefully researched and insightful study, Hesmondhalgh examines the role of music in our lives, and how people forge connections with others through music. However, it also argues that music cannot remain unaffected by the inequalities that stain modern life. Through this critical defense of music, a variety of theories and approaches are brought together. In doing so, Hesmondhalgh provides a distinctive and valuable perspective on the general subject of music that builds on previous research from a variety of fields but also goes beyond them in instructive new ways. The result is a landmark study of the social value of music and an indispensable contribution to a variety of intersecting fields, written with enormous clarity, by a leading music scholar.

Table of Contents

Front Cover.
Half Title Page.
Title Page.
Copyright Page.
1: Music as Intimate and Social, Private and Public.
2: Feeling and Flourishing.
3: Music, Affect, Emotion.
4: Emotions, Narrative Play, and Music.
5: Human Flourishing, Aesthetic Experience, and Music.
6: Musical Flourishing Beyond Contemplative Cultivation.
7: Musical Aesthetics and Bodily Experience: Dancing.
8: Approaches to Music and Emotion in Everyday Life: Contributions and Limitations.
9: Problems of Self-realization in Modern Life and Their Relation to Music.
10: Competitive Individualism and Status Competition Through Music.
11: Review: Music's Constrained Enrichment of Lives.
12: Love and Sex.
13: Sex and Love and Rock and Roll.
14: Two Approaches to Music, Sex, and Sexuality.
15: The Pop-Rock Divide and Rock's Sexual Politics.
16: Post-War Pop's Emotional Resources.
17: Sex and Love on the Dance Floor.
18: Critiques of Countercultural Sexual Freedom.
19: Sex and Love in Punk, Alternative Rock, and Metal.
20: Sexuality in Twenty-First-Century Pop.
21: Black Music and Racialized Sexuality.
22: Sociability and Place.
23: Ways of Being Together: Forms of Publicness.
24: Celebrations of Musical Participation and Their Limitations.
25: That Syncing Feeling.
26: Ordinary Sociability I: Singing Together.
27: Ordinary Sociability II: Dancing Together.
28: Playing Together: Amateur Musicians.
29: Theorizing Positive Musical Sociality.
30: Spectres of Capitalist Modernity Revisited: Class and Inequality.
31: Uneven Musical Development.
32: Elements of Thriving Musical Places.
33: Quality of Working Life of Professional Musicians.
34: Commonality and Cosmopolitanism.
35: Mediated Commonality in Modern Societies.
36: Aesthetic Experience and Aspirations to Commonality.
37: Redeeming Aesthetic Experience?.
38: Talk about Music, What It Tells Us, and What It Doesn't.
39: Music, Politics, and Publicness.
40: Communities of Shared Taste? Subcultures, Scenes, and Fans.
41: Nations, Ethnicity, Cosmopolitanism.
42: Rock as Cosmopolitanism?.
43: Complexities of Music and Nation.
44: Strange Journeys: Working-Class and Ethnic Musics Become National Musics.
45: Sentimental Citizenship.
46: Music, the Nation, and the Popular.
47: Music of the African Diaspora: Life-Affirming Collectivity in Decline?.
48: A Critical Defense of Music.