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Sounds and Society:
In modern, industrial times society demands, and is supplied with, an increasingly wide range of music on a scale unprecedented in our history. Moreover, technology has provided us with the means to control our aural environment in ways which were unimaginable even a century ago. So why, in an otherwise rationalistic age, does music - perhaps the most emotional and ephemeral of cultural forms - matter so much? In this book, Peter Martin argues for a coherent sociology of music, using certain fundamental sociological ideas to generate a much deeper understanding of the role of music in society. Particular attention is given to the question of the nature of musical meaning, the relationship between social structures and musical ones and the music business in capitalist societies. In the course of the argument, the ideas of leading theorists such as Adorno, Schuetz and Weber are discussed. The resulting study is a clear introduction to the implications of sociology as a means of understanding music and should be as relevant to the rock fan as to the devotee of chamber music. [via]