Theodor W. Adorno placed music at the centre of his critique of modernity and broached some of the most important questions about the role of music in contemporary society. One of his central arguments was that music, through the manner of its composition, affected consciousness and was a means of social management and control. His work was primarily theoretical however, and because these issues were never explored empirically his work has become sidelined in current music sociology. This book argues that music sociology can be greatly enriched by a return to Adorno's concerns, in particular his focus on music as a dynamic medium of social life. Intended as a guide to 'how to do music sociology' this book deals with critical topics too often sidelined such as aesthetic ordering, cognition, the emotions and music as a management device and reworks Adorno's focus through a series of grounded examples.
Tia DeNora is Head of Department and Reader in Sociology at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on music sociology. Her books include Beethoven and the Construction of Genius (1995) Music in Everyday Life (CUP 2000).
Preface; Acknowledgements; A note on background reading; 1. Adorno, 'Defended against his devotees'?; 2. New methods and classic concerns; 3. Music as cognition; 4. How does music channel emotion?; 5. Music and 'control'; 6. After Adorno: Rethinking music sociology.