Music-Genre Abstraction, Dissemination and Trajectories

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Musical genres are fraught with issues of temporality. Commonly conceived as musico-cultural regularities regulating practice across musical life, they are never- theless inherently unstable, making non-reductivist accounts of the temporospatial dissemination of genres a persistent challenge to musical genre studies. In this, prima- rily theoretical article, I engage with this challenge by discussing the relation of genre abstraction, dissemination and trajectories. In keeping with recent developments in musical genre studies, I combine an account of genre drawing on post-structuralism and pragmatism along with inspirations from assemblage theory and actor-network theory. On these grounds, it is argued that a distributed understanding of abstraction – specified as the combined act of singling out, symbolising and systematising and interlinked with processes of mobilisation, autonomisation, building alliances and promotion – is key to the temporospatial assemblage of genres in a directed sense, i.e. their dissemination and trajectories.
Original languageEnglish
Book seriesDansk Musikforskning Online
Pages (from-to)83-108
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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