Imagining identifications: how musicians align their practices with publics

Dueck, Byron (2017). Imagining identifications: how musicians align their practices with publics. In: MacDonald, Raymond; Hargreaves, David J. and Miell, Dorothy eds. Handbook of Musical Identities. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 383–402.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199679485.003.0021

Abstract

This chapter explores three sites where skilled musicians help young people to learn musical genres—jazz, western classical music, and powwow singing, and dancing—practiced by wider publics of performers. These sites are home to complex kinds of musical transmission: even as participants learn to make music with and for co-present others, they orient their practices to the imagined memberships of musical publics. Such locations accordingly present significant opportunities for those interested in contemporary identity formation. On the one hand, they are venues where participants simultaneously nurture a range of overlapping relationships, including to musical intimates, communities, and wider publics. On the other hand, they are sites where it is possible to observe how musicians prioritize certain relationships and curtail others, and how they negotiate their placement relative to persons both distant and proximate.

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