Music as Social Life: The Politics of Participation

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Oct 15, 2008 - Music - 258 pages
People around the world and throughout history have used music to express their inner emotions, reach out to the divine, woo lovers, celebrate weddings, inspire political movements, and lull babies to sleep. In Music as Social Life, Thomas Turino explores why it is that music and dance are so often at the center of our most profound personal and social experiences.
Turino begins by developing tools to think about the special properties of music and dance that make them fundamental resources for connecting with our own lives, our communities, and the environment. These concepts are then put into practice as he analyzes various musical examples among indigenous Peruvians, rural and urban Zimbabweans, and American old-time musicians and dancers. To examine the divergent ways that music can fuel social and political movements, Turino looks at its use by the Nazi Party and by the American civil rights movement. Wide-ranging, accessible to anyone with an interest in music’s role in society, and accompanied by a compact disc, Music as Social Life is an illuminating initiation into the power of music.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This is the biggest piece of garbage I have ever read. It is a shame that this nonsense is used at university. Ivory tower BS.


Why Music Matters
2 Participatory and Presentational Performance
High Fidelity and Studio Audio Art
4 Habits of the Self Identity and Culture
5 Participatory Presentational and High Fidelity Music in Zimbabwe
Cultural Cohorts and Cultural Formations
7 Music and Political Movements
8 For Love or Money
Annotated Discography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Thomas Turino is professor of musicology and anthropology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of Music in the Andes: Experiencing Music, Expressing Culture; Moving Away from Silence: Music of the Peruvian Altiplano and the Experience of Urban Migration; and Nationalists, Cosmopolitans, and Popular Music in Zimbabwe.

Bibliographic information