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Relational omnivorousness: a sensitizing device for analyzing sub-genres, fusions and generic associations
Humboldt University of Berlin, Institute of Musicology and Media Studies, Berlin, Germany.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-6622-8890
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This paper aims to foster discussion on musicians’, labels', media's and fans' discursive concerns for inventing, mentioning and discrediting new sub-genres, and their ontological motivations for accepting and rejecting elaborated associations in processes of production, dissemination and consumption. Regarding the case of progressive rock, the loosely defined super-genre's influence on later generations is explored through observing new interpretations and the never-ending pursuit of autonomy and distinction. A simple illustrative two-fold research question gives the reader a clue about the motivation for interdisciplinary inception of the notion of relational omnivorousness as a sensitizing device for understanding such differentiations (e.g. between several sub-genres which have subsequently been associated with progressive rock): Why on earth we need terms like neo-prog, avant-prog, post-prog, indie-prog, post-rock, art rock, etc? What are the differences between them?

While the notion of relational omnivorousness is theoretically influenced by Fabbri's, Frith's, Negus's, Hesmondhalgh’s, Holt's and Taylor’s divergent approaches to music and genre conceptions, its mixed methodology is informed by the post-Bourdieusian research methods of cultural sociology (on analyzing music tastes) which have thoroughly been discussed by both the defenders and the critiques of the cultural omnivore thesis (mainly in the US and the UK). Besides, when making sense of the evolution of sub-genres and connecting armchair theorizing with empiricism comprehensively, the paper follows the relational thinking path of musicology which was propounded by Slobin and further developed by Born and Cook. A relational socio-musicological approach to genres, which was conceptualized by Lena, opens up the paper's horizon when looking into transhabitual fusions within different taste spheres, and flourishing traditions, articulations and position-takings. It is envisioned that epistemological dimensions of this discussion eventually relates back to audiences' horizons of expectations and horizons of change (Jauss) that they accumulate and experience when accepting (and distancing themselves from) new definitions aesthetically and attitudinally through even their further reliance upon shared representations (Berger & Luckmann) and stocks of knowledge (Schutz). Apart from all, concerning the issues of transnational circulation of knowledge and referencing, Grossberg’s and Straw’s seminal comments on sensibilities are being read along with Bourdieu’s mostly overlooked remarks on circulation of ideas in literary fields for the sake of taking affective and symbolic dimensions of the issue into consideration.

The ultimate aim for proposing such a notion is to fill some important gaps between cultural sociologists’ methodological handling of musical phenomena and musicologists’ theoretical review of cultural sociology material – in other words, to contribute to the scholarly bridge between two disciplines that mostly trivialize each other’s primary conceptual concerns due to unfortunate conventions of utilitarian referring, cherry picking, deficient transference and aberrant decoding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
popular music, music sociology, cultural sociology, omnivorousness, relational musicology
National Category
Musicology
Research subject
Musicology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-68732OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-68732DiVA, id: diva2:1245294
Conference
Progect 3 - Third International Conference on Progressive Rock, Lund University, Lund, Sweden, May 23-25, 2018
Available from: 2018-09-04 Created: 2018-09-04 Last updated: 2018-10-04Bibliographically approved

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