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Lecture 8

MUS200H1 Lecture 8: What is music of "everyday"?

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University of Toronto St. George
James Kippen

MUS200 Lecture 6 What is music of “everyday?” • usually conceptualized as mundane or routine • binary opposite to occasions of heightened excitement o Elite music in courts, ceremonies, religious events etc. • Difficult to define because it isn’t meant to be extraordinary • Questions about music role in everyday life o looking at mundane aspects of music in society • Music can become associated with various musical meanings in different contexts • When music are part of your everyday experiences these songs, genres, recordings, or musicians become associated with a range of meanings • Important role of musical ethnography and fieldwork: ethnographers live in communities for a long time to be able to grasp the meanings of music in everyday contexts and assess how these change or remain constant over time • Music is used in many ways to create extraordinary experiences as we have seen in class already • but it is also a significant aspect of daily life in very mundane ways • How can we think about music as part of daily life? o our own musical habits o iPods, Mp3s, radios, CD players in TV and film o music as a soundtrack to our experiences o playing music—music in the lives of musicians o soundscapes – musicality in the “nature” environment • Music Therapy—growing field that recognizes the impact of music in daily life o tool for maintaining mental and physical wellness o understands healing as a process that is experienced in many different ways • Music is an essential part of trance experience • Element of daily life that normalizes experience, makes the everyday mundane o Art of “making do” (de Certeau 1984) o using different strategies and tactic to get through each day ▪ Strategies: the ways in which relationships of power are defined between people ▪ Tactics: immediate action for short term results o Normalcy can make extreme situations as well as their aftermath and trauma which we can survive the challenges of daily life Surviving the Everyday • How does music help you survive your day? • Moving toward our case studies • Case Study 1: World War II in Europe o WWI: 1914-1918 o Rise of Nazism or National Socialism in Germany ▪ Started in 1920s in the aftermath of WWI, economic instability in Germany ▪ Party gained power in 1933, establishing Third Reich fascist government ▪ Promoted a philosophy of racial hierarchy, with Germanic peoples as Aryan race at the top of this hierarchy ▪ Philosophy emphasized biological racism and antisemitism o WWII: 1939-1945, but related conflicts earlier were also significant o Direct involve of at least 30 countries o Total war effort: countries shifted entire economy, industry, and scientific development towards war effort, limiting distinction between civilian and military production • Why is this relevant? o People endured and survived the Holocaust o Concentration camps became the everyday experience for millions of people o Terezin concentration camp survivor discusses musical practice in the camp o How did musicians deal with their situation? • Music had an important role in camp life for both prisoners and officers Musical Practices • Music of all types, styles and genres were fundamental component of life in concentration camps • Two ways to think about musical practice in this context: o Music making by command o Music making initiated by prison
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