Metal, Rock, and Jazz: Perception and the Phenomenology of Musical Experience

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Wesleyan University Press, Mar 1, 2011 - Music - 350 pages
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This vivid ethnography of the musical lives of heavy metal, rock, and jazz musicians in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio shows how musicians engage with the world of sound to forge meaningful experiences of music. Unlike most popular music studies, which only provide a scholar's view, this book is based on intensive fieldwork and hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews. Rich descriptions of the musical life of metal bars and jazz clubs get readers close to the people who make and listen to the music.

Of special interest are Harris M. Berger's interviews with Timmy "The Ripper" Owens, now famous as lead singer for the pioneering heavy metal band, Judas Priest. Owens and other performers share their own experiences of the music, thereby challenging traditional notions of harmony and musical structure. Using ideas from practice theory and phenomenology, Berger shows that musical perception is a kind of practice, both creatively achieved by the listener and profoundly informed by social context.

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Metal, rock, and jazz: perception and the phenomenology of musical experience

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Berger, revising his doctoral dissertation, tries to place the early 1990s death metal, hard rock, and jazz of Cleveland and Akron, within a social context. He introduces his study with an academic ... Read full review


Phenomenology and Practice Theory
I The Ethnography of Musical Practice
II The Organization of Musical Experience and the Practice of Perception
Death Metal and Deindustrialization in an American City

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About the author (2011)

HARRIS M. BERGER is Assistant Professor of Music at Texas A & M University. A guitarist since the age of ten, he currently plays and sings with The Bee Dreams.

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