Musicologists have increasingly taken a wide-angled lens on the study of music in society, to explore how it can be intertwined with issues of politics, gender, religion, race, psychology, memory, and space. Recent studies of music in connection with society take in a variety of musical phenomena from diverse periods and genres—medieval, classical, opera, rock, etc. This ten-chapter book not only asks how music and society are, and have been, intertwined and mutually influential, but it also examines the agents behind these connections: who determines musical cultures in society? Which social groups are represented in particular musical contexts? Which social groups are silenced or less well represented in music’s histories, and why?
Part One: Cultural and Cross-Cultural Agencies
The Year the Music Died: Agency in the Context of Demise on Takū, Papua New Guinea
“One of the finest and best-appointed theatres in the colonies”: His Majesty’s Theatre and the Evolution of Entertainment in Dunedin, New Zealand
“In the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Room”: Musicalizing the South Pacific in Disney’s Theme Parks
Part Two: Vocal Music’s Agencies
Figaro Transmuted through the Agency of Neapolitan Social and Political Creatives: Niccolò Piccinni’s La serva onorata
Josephinism and Leopold Koželuh’s Masonic Cantata Joseph der Menschheit Segen
Agency, Politics, and Opera Arrangements in Fanny von Arnstein’s Salons
Part Three: Performance and Agency
Reflections on Aladdin’s Lamp: Developing a Framework for Creative Practice Research in-and-through Historically Informed Performance
When Your Heart Is Set on Both Broadway and the Met: An Exploration of Vocal Technique in Contemporary Musical Theatre
Part Four: Composition and Agency
“Brows betwixt and between”: The Agents of the Cultural Middlebrow and the Use of Topoi in Benjamin Britten’s First Suite for Cello
Provincializing Practice: Parsing Historical Influences on Contemporary Cross-Cultural Music in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Nancy November is Professor of Musicology at The University of Auckland. Combining interdisciplinarity and cultural history, her research centers on chamber music of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, probing questions of historiography, canonization, and genre. She is the recipient of a Humboldt Fellowship (2010-12); and three Marsden Grants from the New Zealand Royal Society. She recently published a book on Beethoven’s Symphonies Arranged for the Chamber (Cambridge University Press, 2021).