The Social and Cultural Study of Music: Then and Now
A Symposium in Honour of John Shepherd
Carleton University, Ottawa, 24–25 Nov. 2017
During the late 1970s and early 80s, an emerging body of literature based in sociology, popular music, feminism, cultural and critical theory began to infiltrate the study of music, challenging the objects and methods of conventional music theory and musicology, on the one hand, and questioning Western classical music as the primary musical text, on the other. Issues of class, identity, race, gender and sexuality, technology, industry, values and aesthetics came to the fore and popular musics, genres and fandom slowly gained status as legitimate areas of study. Today, these issues continue to inform much writing and theorizing about music but new areas of inquiry – ethnography, music in everyday life, sound studies, music and the moving image, cities and scenes, disability studies, digitalization and others – have added to the increasingly inter-disciplinary character of music as an area of cultural study.