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Any Sound You Can Imagine
Making Music/Consuming Technology
Paul Théberge


1997 • 303 pp. 11 illus. 1 Table. 6 x 9"
Music / Cultural Studies

$26.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6309-5

Describes digital musical instruments, industries that supply and promote them, and the meanings they have for musicians.

Recent innovations in musical instrument design are not simply a response to the needs of musicians, writes Paul Théberge; they also have become "a driving force with which musicians must contend." He argues that digital synthesizers, samplers, and sequencers in studio production and in the home have caused musicians to rely increasingly on manufacturers for both the instruments themselves as well as the very sounds and musical patterns that they use to make music.

Musical practices have thus become allied with a new type of consumer practice that is altogether different from earlier relationships between musicians and their instruments as a means of production. Théberge places these developments within a broad social and historical perspective that examines the development of the musical instrument industry, particularly the piano industry, the economic and cultural role of musicians' magazines and computer networks, and the fundamental relationships between musical concepts, styles, and technology.

Click here for TABLE OF CONTENTS

Reviews / Endorsements

“A fine and timely study. There is no other text offering a sustained analysis of the social conditions of technological innovation in the design of music technologies. Astute and remarkably pleasurable to read.”—Andrew Goodwin

“What starts out as an investigation of a surprisingly neglected aspect of popular music studies—the technology of music making—ends up as a far reaching meditation on Western music history and culture. Any Sound You Can Imagine is obviously a major contribution to cultural sociology: on almost every page it raises fascinating and important questions about what musicians do, what music means, and what listeners want.”Simon Frith


Winner of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) Book Award (1997)

PAUL THÉBERGE is Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal as well as a composer. He has published widely on music, technology, and culture and has created sound works for various media, including radio and film.

Thu, 6 Sep 2018 11:04:32 -0500