Analysis of the Position and Status of Sound Ratio in Contemporary Society

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Traces the process of specularization, whereby the hegemonies of state, church, patriarchy and the mass media have attempted to marginalize the role of sound in contemporary society. In a much under-researched file, this study contributes to an inter-disciplinary understanding of sound’s unique characteristics and how, in an often oppositional climate, in maintains its status as a vital communicative and artistic tool.


"Moy’s central thesis is a simple but persuasive one: in the late-modern world in which we live, the purely aural experience is largely outdated, or certainly uncommon. . . . The sonic terrain has been marginalised, and the capacity of the western intellect to decode sound has largely atrophied. It is when discussing the sense of lack that sound embodies that Moy’s imaginative book comes into its own. . . . Moy is a good guide through the theoretical minefield of music cultural studies doublespeak. He expertly deals with a whole range of issues germane to popular music studies, film studies and cultural studies in an intelligent way, making this book essential for undergraduate reading. . . . a valuable piece of historical investigation into a little-regarded aspect of modern society and as a controversial and enlivening polemic in itself, is an essential read." - David Buckley

"The analysis of sound as a component of media texts is consistently relegated or omitted from the curriculum. Moy manages to put this into a theoretical and historical context, one that allows those who have not actively privileged sound in their research or their teaching to get to grips with the issues and the new insight that this raises. The historical structure makes the volume accessible and sets up interesting debates which can be introduced to subjects already being taught in a theoretical or case study context such as the rise of new media, post-war popular culture and consumer culture." -Nickianne Moody

Table of Contents

Table of Contents:
Preface; Introduction
1. The Historical Development of a Specular Hierarchy: Sound; Myths of the Enlightenment; Objectification of Music; Instrumentation; Perspective; Gender; Commodification of Music; Market Forces
2. New Technologies and the Partial Eclipse of Sound: Modernization & Modernism; Freezing Time; Leaving Home; Cinema; Music & Film; Radio; Radio Drama; Gregori Yefimovitich Rasputin – Almost the Truth - A Case Study; Televisual Form; Television & Cinema;
3. Sonic Architecture: New Adventures in Time & Space for Hi-Fi: Brief History of the Recording; Degrees of the Organic; Experimentation; ‘Rag Mama Rag’; Dark Side of the Moon A Case Study; Fragmentation; One, Two, Three, Four; Nought One; Programmes & Treatments
4. Marginalization or a Sound Future? Ambience in a Noisy World: Postmodern Geography; Revolution Within the Head; Revolution Beyond the Head; Raving & Trespass; Radio & the Digital Future; Music Video A Question of Ratio; Shakespear’s Sister ‘Goodbye Cruel World’ A Case Study; Sound Screen; Neo-Classical Cinema Sound; Sonic Architecture; Tracks Versus Songs; First Era of Instrumental Popular Music
Coda: Final Thoughts; Reithianism and Tangential legacies; Cream, Liverpool: Saturday 24-4-99

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