Music is not a universal language. It is rather a border territory, a space both physical and symbolic in which one can identify a constant conflict among expressions of different powers that fight to redefine geographical delimitations. Such a perspective on music has been gaining ground within the last decades, thanks to the contribution that the area of cultural studies brought into the disciplines of musicology and ethnomusicology.
This chapter focuses on the intersections of (ethno)musicology and cultural studies. It starts presenting the historical moment in which music has been understood as culture. After analysing the different forms of interdisciplinary musicology that emerged before the end of the 20th century, it then presents the intersections of music and identity as an example of a border territory in which musical expressions redefine cultural geographies. Moving from sound studies into the interrelated field of “music and politics,” it presents three case studies that show how music shapes and challenges networks of meanings that influence power relations and their transmigration into the cultural fields.
Gianpaolo Chiriacò 2016, “Around the Sound: paaesaggi e prospettive tra etnomusicologia e Studi culturali”, in
N. Vallorani (a cura di) 2016, Introduzione ai Cultural Studies. UK e USA e paesi anglofoni, Carocci editore, Roma,
pp. 143-159. ISBN 978-88-430-8480-7.