Music, Culture, and Experience: Selected Papers of John Blacking

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Mar 15, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 269 pages
0 Reviews
One of the most important ethnomusicologists of the century, John Blacking achieved international recognition for his book, How Musical Is Man? Known for his interest in the relationship of music to biology, psychology, dance, and politics, Blacking was deeply committed to the idea that music-making is a fundamental and universal attribute of the human species. He attempted to document the ways in which music-making expresses the human condition, how it transcends social divisions, and how it can be used to improve the quality of human life.

This volume brings together in one convenient source eight of Blacking's most important theoretical papers along with an extensive introduction by the editor. Drawing heavily on his fieldwork among the Venda people of South Africa, these essays reveal his most important theoretical themes such as the innateness of musical ability, the properties of music as a symbolic or quasi-linguistic system, the complex relation between music and social institutions, and the relation between scientific musical analysis and cultural understanding.
  

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

Teaching Music Musically
Keith Swanwick
No preview available - 1999
All Book Search results »

About the author (1995)

John Blacking was born October 28, 1928, in Guilford, Surrey, England. With his family he moved to Salisbury, Wiltshire, at age three, where he received his early education and exposure to music at the Salisbury Cathedral Choir School. Blacking obtained a degree in archaeology and anthropology from Kings College Cambridge in 1953. He spent a large part of his life doing fieldwork in countries around the globe. In addition to being a well-known and well-respected professor of social anthropology and gaining professorships in England and Africa before eventually settling in the United States, Blacking was also an ethnomusicologist: He was interested in the relationship between music and biology, psychology, dance, and politics. He believed that making music is fundamental and universal to humans. Blanking stated that through music people express the human condition, transcend class boundaries, and improve the quality of life. He spent 22 months with the Venda people in South Africa. He wrote Venda Children's Songs (1967) based on this experience. Blacking's best known work is How Musical Is Man? (1973) Blacking died in 1990.

Bruno Nettl is an eminent ethnomusicologist specializing in American Indian music. He is Professor of Music and Anthropology in the University of Illnois.

Bibliographic information