The Hidden Musicians: Music-Making in an English Town (2nd ed.).
Middletown, CT, USA: Wesleyan University Press.
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 to a new generation of students and scholars.
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