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MUS 365 Study Guide - Spring 2019, Comprehensive Final Exam Notes - Guitar, Fiddle, Minstrel Show


Department
Music
Course Code
MUS 365
Professor
Benjamin Ordaz
Study Guide
Final

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MUS 365

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Introduction
Part 2
Country Music Performances
o Music and Time
Music is ephemeral it lives and moves in time.
Music is not fixed to any single point in time
Ex. Country Music is performed live, recorded, and can live on in
memory.
o Live Performance
A live performance is a performance that is created and lives in the
moment.
All Country Music, even music that is recorded or music that is retained in
memory, is some version of a live performance.
o Recordings
We will experience Country Music exclusively through recordings.
Recordings are frozen snapshots of sound moving through time.
This means that we always need to remember that a commercial-issued
recording is fixed and unchanging.
Recordings are frequently studio assemblages of various live
performances, form one-take complete performances like those found in
early Country recordings to multiple edits or overdubs in contemporary
Country.
Replacing sections of a performance, adding a single instrumental line, or
even fixing a single out-of-tune pitch of a sung melody has become
common.
o Memory
Memory of a particular musical performance or recording can never be
separated from the actual performance or recording in the mind of the
listener.
We continually reanimate the past in the present and cannot escape our
own participation in the recall of past events, even music (Collingwood &
Carr).
o Music and Perception
Add perception of music into the mix and things become further
muddied.
From 19th century philosophers to late 20th century Franco Americal
Deconstructionists, there have been some remarkable points argued
concerning perception that can be applied to music that run counter to
most people’s assumptions.
Ex. Involves the reversal of cause and effect
It is argued that the cause of pain is actually reversed in our perception of
the circumstance, so that pain is the ‘cause’ of the pin prick (Nietzche).
The (cause) pin prick to the (effect) pain is reversed by our perception of
events to pain (cause) to pin prick (effect).
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We listen to live performances, remember aspects of them later, hear a
recording of a studio performance, and can also remember it at a later
time.
Music is heard, performed, or reanimated by recordings or memory at
any time.
Determining ‘when’ a pieces ‘is’ or even ‘what’ it is, for a group of
listeners can be a pretty complicated affair.
Group Personae in Country Music
o We will discuss the formation of group personae such as Hillbillies and Cowboys,
through Country Music performances. Group personae will be an important
concept in the organization and analysis of music in the course.
o Cultural Hegemony
Group persona can be cartoonish or stereotyped image of a person, race
of regional group that is projected upon a minority group by some
majority.
Ex. We will explore various hillbilly personae projected on Eastern
mountain peoples by Northerners, where one class or social group
“Northerners” controls the cultural and political discourse so that
it dominates other “antagonistic” groups “Eastern mountain
peoples” who become subject and eventually willingly participate
in their own oppression through the adoption of ideologies that
run counter to their own interests (Gramsci).
Antonio Gramsci’s “intellectual, moral, and political hegemony” is
insidious in its redefinition and control of “subject class” interests, tastes,
and beliefs.
For Country Music and other traditions, though, it only addresses part of
the process.
o Group Personae and Masks
Many group images that we will examine in this course are the result of
hegemonic formation.
A reversal frequently occurs through the process of adoption of hostile
group imagery by a subject class.
We will discuss in more details, subject groups not only diffuse the effects
of hostile imagery through humor and self-parody, but by adopting
hostile imagery subject groups then have the freedom to turn comment
back upon the majority.
This can be traced back to the parodies of elite and religious institutions
by commoners in the medieval carnival (Bakhtin).
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