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The Hidden Musicians
Music-Making in an English Town
Ruth Finnegan


2007 • 400 pp. 30 illus. 6 x 9"
Music / Cultural Studies / Anthropology

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6853-3
$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7446-6

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

“The best academic book on British popular music I’ve ever read.”—Simon Frith, Village Voice

A classic ethnography reveals the worlds of amateur musicians. Back in print with a new preface.

A landmark in the study of music and culture, this acclaimed volume documents the remarkable scope of amateur music-making in the English town of Milton Keynes. It presents in vivid detail the contrasting yet overlapping worlds of classical orchestras, church choirs, brass bands, amateur operatic societies, and amateur bands playing jazz, rock, folk, and country. Notable for its contribution to wider theoretical debates and its influential challenge to long-held assumptions about music and how to study it, the book focuses on the practices rather than the texts or theory of music, rejecting the idea that only selected musical traditions, “great names,” or professional musicians are worth studying. This opens the door to the invisible work put in by thousands of local people of diverse backgrounds, and how the pathways creatively trodden by amateur musicians have something to tell us about both urban living and what it is to be human. Now with a new preface by the author, this long-awaited reissue of The Hidden Musicians will bring its insights and innovations to a new generation of students and scholars.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“Urban ethnomusicology at its best.”—Kay Kaufman Shelemay, Lingua Franca

“Richly evocative and brimming with insights, The Hidden Musicians is an extraordinary ethnography that should be on the bookshelf of any scholar of popular music studies, ethnomusicology, folklore, or cultural studies.”—Harris M. Berger, president, International Association for the Study of Popular Music–US

Author Photo

RUTH FINNEGAN is a visiting research professor and emeritus professor in the faculty of social sciences at the Open University in the U.K.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:32:53 -0500