iTunes. Spotify. Pandora. With these brief words one can map the landscape of music today, but these aren't musicians, songs, or anything else actually musical-they are products and brands. In this book, Timothy D. Taylor explores just how pervasively capitalism has shaped music over the last few decades. Examining changes in the production, distribution, and consumption of music, he offers an incisive critique of the music industry's shift in focus from creativity to profits, as well as stories of those who are laboring to find and make musical meaning in the shadows of the mainstream cultural industries. Taylor explores everything from the branding of musicians to the globalization of music to the emergence of digital technologies in music production and consumption. Drawing on interviews with industry insiders, musicians, and indie label workers, he traces both the constricting forces of bottom-line economics and the revolutionary emergence of the affordable home studio, the global internet, and the mp3 that have shaped music in different ways.
A sophisticated analysis of how music is made, repurposed, advertised, sold, pirated, and consumed, Music and Capitalism is a must read for anyone who cares about what they are listening to, how, and why.
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Number of pages: 240
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 231 x 150 x 18 mm
"First-hand accounts from Taylor's interviews tie together the wide-ranging topics throughout, revealing how each individual or organization negotiates their own position in the economy and builds their own identity in the cultural value system of the music business. . . . Music And Capitalism builds on the argument put forward by Jacques Attali in Noise: The Political Economy Of Music that capitalism both shapes and is shaped by culture. This approach necessarily invokes systems of value other than the monetary--brand value, edginess, tastemaking, and the construction of identity through conspicuous consumption are discussed. Yet in Taylor's view of capitalism as a cultural force, it becomes increasingly difficult to distinguish between aesthetic judgments and marketing decisions."
-- "The Wire"
"Using a historically informed approach grounded in Marx, Weber and Bourdieu, Taylor's book is wide ranging but focused, nuanced and clearly articulated."
-- "Ethnomusicology Forum"