Alternative Virtuality: Independent Micro Labels Facing the Ideological Challenge of Virtual Music Culture—The Case of Finnish Ektro Records
This chapter examines virtual music culture from the viewpoint of an independent micro label, Ektro Records, based in Finland. Micro labels are small record producers who subscribe to uncompromising aesthetic and countercultural ideologies. These labels have a complex relationship with virtual music culture, which undermines their economic infrastructure and challenges their subversive position as cultural producers. Although the globalization and elimination of intermediaries by virtual media has advantaged micro labels, labels specializing in physical formats such as Ektro Records are affected by declining sales. Furthermore, micro labels have to compete with the free distribution promoted in the virtual music culture at providing alternatives to the music industry and defending artistic autonomy from commodification. However, it is argued that there is still a need for micro labels in the virtual music culture, and their continuing usefulness to micro labels such as Ektro.
This article addresses three themes by looking at the care of Alzheimer's disease (AD) as a model of a new way of caring for people. First, it is a disease that affects all aspects of life—one's physical health and psychological and social relationships. Second, there is a small but growing body of research regarding alternative approaches to helping people with AD and their families cope and adapt to the disease. Finally, the traditional medical approaches to the disease leave much to be desired in creating a truly compassionate model of care, and it is only through collaboration of multiple disciplines that care of those with AD and their families can be optimized. The “person-centered” approach to the care of persons with AD is a model by which multiple disciplines can offer hope for an increased quality of life. It embodies attention to all aspects of health—biological, psychological, social, emotional, and spiritual realms.
Hermione Ruck Keene and Lucy Green
Music summer schools in the United Kingdom offer a holiday context for “serious leisure” for amateurs, and high-level tuition for aspiring professionals. The majority exist in distinct spaces for either the vocational or avocational musician; Dartington International Summer School is anomalous in that it is attended by amateur, aspiring professional and professional musicians. Theories of leisure as symbol, play, and the other, and Bahktin’s theory of the “carnivalesque” are used in this chapter as lenses to view participant experience. Mantie’s concept of the learner-participant dichotomy sheds light on the clashes and complementarity arising from the differing intentions of the participants. The chapter discusses how the leisure-learning context of the summer school impacts on participants’ musical identity, and can serve both to challenge and reinforce hierarchical status relationships between vocational and avocational musicians.
This article explores the role of amateur music in the age of sound recording and reproduction technologies. It begins by evaluating concerns about the fate of the amateur in the early twentieth century. Most of the examples cited are from the United States, and the claims hold most strongly for American musical life. However, it also draws evidence from Europe and Asia to suggest the global scope of technologically mediated amateur music making. A strong user-perspective is reflected throughout this article. It then presents four case studies to examine the complex relationship between amateurism and music technologies. The case studies reveal a constant process of co-construction between users and the music. It also takes into account the social construction of technology (SCOT), as well as on the fields of cultural studies and media studies, to explore how users perform and construct identity through technology.
This chapter considers the topical competency of late eighteenth-century amateur players and listeners. Focus is on selected string quartets by Haydn, Mozart, and Pleyel. The analytical strategy is comparative, and therefore the analyses are limited to movements governed by clearly defined topics. The troping of learned and galant elements is the focus of discussion of three minuet movements, all of which incorporate contrapuntal techniques to varying structural and expressive ends. Parametric density is the focus of discussion of four chasse movements. In both sets of examples, issues considered include topical content and syntactical function, topical dissonance, and social and cultural associations.
Rachel S. Vandagriff
This essay provides an overview of American private foundational support for American contemporary music between 1952 and 1983. Beginning in the early 1950s during the Cold War, the Rockefeller, Ford, and Fromm Music foundations began giving grants to symphony orchestras, opera houses, colleges and universities, chamber music ensembles, and composers to create and perform more contemporary American music, thus playing the traditional role of patrons of music updated for the twentieth century. The Ph.D. degree in composition was established, significantly altering American composers’ careers and the new music scene such that the academy became patron of American composers. This essay seeks to merge these two narratives. First summarizing tax incentives for American charitable organizations such as private foundations, it gives an overview of the Rockefeller and Ford Foundation grants to music, discusses the Fromm Music Foundation’s activities, and relates all of their work to the increasing academicization of composition.
This chapter considers the impact of ‘the American invasion’: a slew of Broadway musicals led by Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun that captivated and shocked audiences when they opened in 1947 in London. Arriving in a country mired in post-war rationing and rehabilitation, they offered a sharp contrast to the typical material on the British musical stage. To understand the transatlantic dynamics that are its context, it is useful to consider how contemporary America projected itself, and how the British perceived Americans. With Hollywood images of virile action heroes, and with American GIs stationed on British soil, Brits encountered a new and forceful sexuality that the energy of the post-war Broadway imports evoked. As the staid morals of the pre-war era gave way to the excitement of the new, the British musical responded with the punchy riposte of a new Novello show: Gay’s the Word.
The opening decades of the twentieth century saw painters renounce mimetic representation for the formal rigors and spiritual transcendence of visual art divorced from reproduction of the visible world. That they chose to do so in no small measure resulted from a profound shift in aesthetic values: music became the paradigm for visual art. While the concept of visual music gained international currency, this seductive aesthetic model had particular resonance in the United States. Between 1910 and 1930, leaders of the American avant-garde, such as Arthur Dove, Marsden Hartley, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Max Weber, experimented with musical ideas to forge a new abstract art. A comparative case study of the music pictures of these painters and the inter-media installations of contemporary artist Jennifer Steinkamp will illuminate the transformation of the modernist ideal of visual music in the postmodern era.
“An Interesting Experiment in Eugenics”: Ted Shawn, American Dance, and the Discourses of Sex, Race, and Ethnicity
Paul A. Scolieri
The “ethnic dance” movement in the United States is closely associated with Ted Shawn, the “Father of American Dance” (1891–1972). Shawn and his wife and dancing partner, Ruth St. Denis, founded a dance company called Denishawn, whose repertory incorporated Native American, “Negro,” and Spanish folk dances. By the mid-1920s, Shawn viewed American dance in terms of moral and physical purity—a philosophy he based on the discourse of eugenics. This article explores how the eugenics movement informed Shawn’s vision of American dance in the 1920s, particularly with respect to two of his related writings, The American Ballet and “An American Ballet.” It explains how Shawn’s personal and professional relationship with Havelock Ellis, a British physician who was a leading proponent of the eugenics movement in Europe and whom he considered his idol, influenced his views about eugenics. It also examines how Shawn’s anxiety about his own sexual “unfitness” (his homosexuality) shaped his racist, nativist, and xenophobic “experiment” with eugenics in American dance.
The history of the black diaspora is full with examples of the ways music has enabled various black cultural communities to cope with racial oppression. This article explains how sound-producing technology, in the form of vinyl records and turntables, functions within communities that endow these devices with cultural value. Hip-hop is used to center the discussion on ways in which turntables and vinyl records are attributed a racial authenticity not seen in other music communities where DJs exist. It begins with the premise that the hip-hop culture, similar to other music cultures, is a deeply technological way of life. Furthermore, it explores hip-hop and the emergence of digital vinyl systems and discusses hip-hop and race in the digital age. Finally, it suggests that the intersections of hip-hop, technology, and sound could help understand the ways the materiality of sound is embedded and circulated within society.