Making things Musical: Material Culture and the Making of Musical Objects

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Bennett, James

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Tamlyn, Garry

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2016
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Abstract

In the early twenty-first century we are inundated with technologies and discourses that privilege the apparently liberating immaterial aspects of digital culture, and much has been said of such changes in postindustrial knowledge economies. Despite this or perhaps because of it, the production of material objects continues to be of importance in people’s everyday lives, as a way of understanding materiality and defining value through the types of labour required in making things. This thesis provides a critical examination of the social, cultural and material practices involved in ‘making things musical,’ focusing on the ways that material objects come to be thought of as musical objects. The methodological basis of the thesis combines the interdisciplinary approaches of material culture studies and popular music studies, drawing on philosophy and critical theory, cultural studies and cultural sociology. Beginning with a broad discussion of the relationship between music, materiality and material culture, the thesis focuses on the ways that musical objects are produced through social and cultural practices and discourses, in co-constitutive ways between human makers and non-human objects.

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Thesis (PhD Doctorate)

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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

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School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science

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The author owns the copyright in this thesis, unless stated otherwise.

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Subject

Material culture

Guitar makers

Homemade recording equipment

Musical objects

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