Musicology at Weimar Republic

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  • 8/10/2019 Musicology at Weimar Republic

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    Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End ofHitler's Reich by Pamela M. PotterReview by: Christopher HaileyNotes, Second Series, Vol. 56, No. 1 (Sep., 1999), pp. 106-109Published by: Music Library AssociationStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/900476.

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    NOTES,

    September

    1999

    OTES,

    September

    1999

    group

    Take

    That,

    Paul McDonald

    obviously

    worked hard

    to

    provide

    detailed

    descrip-

    tions

    of

    the

    spectacles

    he

    analyzed,

    but

    some photographs would have made his

    essay

    more

    vivid.

    In

    the

    course of

    his

    discus-

    sion of

    Take That's

    popularity among

    young

    female and

    gay

    male

    audiences,

    McDonald

    fairly

    critiques

    psychoanalytic

    approaches

    that reduce

    multiple perfor-

    mances

    of

    gender

    to

    dichotomies;

    he also

    does

    a

    good

    job

    of

    defending

    informed tex-

    tual

    analysis

    as an

    illuminating

    method that

    need not

    always

    depend

    upon

    direct

    ethno-

    graphic

    corroboration.

    Unlike

    McDonald,

    Sean Cubitt makes no

    effort to describe visual images carefully,

    leaving

    the reader

    unable

    to

    judge

    or re-

    spond

    to

    his

    assertions. That is the case

    with his entire

    chapter,

    most of which does

    not even

    pretend

    to address

    popular

    music,

    and none of which

    displays

    much

    concern

    with other

    people's responses,

    with

    history,

    or with

    musical

    signification.

    Cubitt

    speaks

    of our

    responses,

    of how we

    respond,

    but offers no evidence that would

    ground

    his assertions outside of his own

    reactions.

    His

    contribution

    is less

    an analysis

    of

    social

    meanings

    than a

    performance

    of his own

    reception

    of

    gendered images.

    Sexing

    the

    Groove oncludes

    with

    an anno-

    tated

    bibliography

    of

    relevant work

    in

    cul-

    tural

    studies,

    gender

    studies,

    and

    popular

    music;

    it is

    a

    helpful compilation

    with fair

    group

    Take

    That,

    Paul McDonald

    obviously

    worked hard

    to

    provide

    detailed

    descrip-

    tions

    of

    the

    spectacles

    he

    analyzed,

    but

    some photographs would have made his

    essay

    more

    vivid.

    In

    the

    course of

    his

    discus-

    sion of

    Take That's

    popularity among

    young

    female and

    gay

    male

    audiences,

    McDonald

    fairly

    critiques

    psychoanalytic

    approaches

    that reduce

    multiple perfor-

    mances

    of

    gender

    to

    dichotomies;

    he also

    does

    a

    good

    job

    of

    defending

    informed tex-

    tual

    analysis

    as an

    illuminating

    method that

    need not

    always

    depend

    upon

    direct

    ethno-

    graphic

    corroboration.

    Unlike

    McDonald,

    Sean Cubitt makes no

    effort to describe visual images carefully,

    leaving

    the reader

    unable

    to

    judge

    or re-

    spond

    to

    his

    assertions. That is the case

    with his entire

    chapter,

    most of which does

    not even

    pretend

    to address

    popular

    music,

    and none of which

    displays

    much

    concern

    with other

    people's responses,

    with

    history,

    or with

    musical

    signification.

    Cubitt

    speaks

    of our

    responses,

    of how we

    respond,

    but offers no evidence that would

    ground

    his assertions outside of his own

    reactions.

    His

    contribution

    is less

    an analysis

    of

    social

    meanings

    than a

    performance

    of his own

    reception

    of

    gendered images.

    Sexing

    the

    Groove oncludes

    with

    an anno-

    tated

    bibliography

    of

    relevant work

    in

    cul-

    tural

    studies,

    gender

    studies,

    and

    popular

    music;

    it is

    a

    helpful compilation

    with fair

    commentary,

    although

    it

    inexplicably

    omits

    one of the most

    important

    previous

    works

    on

    popular

    music and

    gender,

    Lisa A.

    Lewis's GenderPolitics and MTV: Voicingthe

    Difference

    (Philadelphia:

    Temple

    University

    Press,

    1990),

    as well

    as

    George Lipsitz's

    sev-

    eral books on

    cultural studies

    and

    popular

    music. It would be

    easy

    to

    criticize the cov-

    erage

    of

    Sexing

    the Groove tself: the

    popu-

    lar music of its

    subtitle is limited to

    Anglo-

    American rock

    and

    pop,

    and

    even

    within

    those

    boundaries

    there is no

    discussion of

    hip hop,

    for

    example,

    and almost no men-

    tion of black musicians.

    Although

    divided

    evenly by

    gender,

    the

    contributors are

    mostly British, and some of the musicians

    they

    discuss are less well

    known

    in

    the

    United States and elsewhere. But

    to dwell

    on

    such limitations would

    be

    unfair,

    given

    the

    great range

    of musical

    performances

    of

    gender

    that are

    insightfully

    examined

    here.

    Despite

    Whiteley's

    unfulfilled

    promise

    to

    bring

    musical sound to the center of her

    book's

    analyses,

    she

    has

    brought together

    many

    valuable

    essays

    and

    produced

    a useful

    and

    consequential

    collection.

    Sexing

    the

    Groove

    s

    one

    of

    the most

    provocative,

    en-

    abling,

    and

    persuasive

    recent contributions

    to

    popular-music

    studies.

    ROBERT

    WALSER

    Universityof California,

    Los

    Angeles

    commentary,

    although

    it

    inexplicably

    omits

    one of the most

    important

    previous

    works

    on

    popular

    music and

    gender,

    Lisa A.

    Lewis's GenderPolitics and MTV: Voicingthe

    Difference

    (Philadelphia:

    Temple

    University

    Press,

    1990),

    as well

    as

    George Lipsitz's

    sev-

    eral books on

    cultural studies

    and

    popular

    music. It would be

    easy

    to

    criticize the cov-

    erage

    of

    Sexing

    the Groove tself: the

    popu-

    lar music of its

    subtitle is limited to

    Anglo-

    American rock

    and

    pop,

    and

    even

    within

    those

    boundaries

    there is no

    discussion of

    hip hop,

    for

    example,

    and almost no men-

    tion of black musicians.

    Although

    divided

    evenly by

    gender,

    the

    contributors are

    mostly British, and some of the musicians

    they

    discuss are less well

    known

    in

    the

    United States and elsewhere. But

    to dwell

    on

    such limitations would

    be

    unfair,

    given

    the

    great range

    of musical

    performances

    of

    gender

    that are

    insightfully

    examined

    here.

    Despite

    Whiteley's

    unfulfilled

    promise

    to

    bring

    musical sound to the center of her

    book's

    analyses,

    she

    has

    brought together

    many

    valuable

    essays

    and

    produced

    a useful

    and

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