“Music is the social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is.”

Malcolm Arnold

Music is a human activity that functions within its social and cultural contexts. It has never been an autonomous art form divorced from social, political, economic, technological, and ethical developments. Instead, music in society and culture touches on an extensive range of human endeavors. It may accompany every human activity from the cradle to the grave and include lullabies, games, dancing, working, healing, battling, ceremonies, festivals, weddings and funerals. Music in and as culture suggest not only how people use, perform, compose and think about music and their general attitudes towards it, but also how it functions as emotional expression, aesthetic enjoyment, or as entertainment. In this section you find articles that look at music from a variety of interdisciplinary and current viewpoints. We explore music influence, the value of music, and music of life through the lens of folklore, cultural anthropology, performance studies, dance, area studies, cultural studies, gender studies, race or ethnic studies, or other fields in the humanities and social sciences. Music plays an important role in shaping society and identities, and it provides parameters that can be used to frame experiences, perceptions, feelings, and comportments. For better or worse, music has become a commodity and significantly changed our experience and social practices.

242 Posts
  • Reina Sofia School of Music Reina Sofia School of Music
    The Reina Sofia School of Music is located in the heart of Madrid, next to the Royal Palace and the Royal Opera House. Now almost 20 years old, it has established itself as a centre of excellence for aspiring professional
  • Saving the Symphony Orchestra Saving the Symphony Orchestra
    Perhaps you too have seen several articles of late about “Saving the Symphony Orchestra”. The demise of classical music has been a viewpoint touted for decades, but it seems to be a worthy conversation today. Audiences are dwindling, music education
  • A Hong Kong Tragedy A Hong Kong Tragedy
    High in the skyscrapers of Hong Kong, a tragedy is being played out involving the father, the mother, the child, and between them all is the domestic helper, Mila. She’s the observer of the family dynamics and how the father
  • Art in the Embattled City Art in the Embattled City
    The international news is full of reports of the battle of Hong Kong – students battling the government, destroying facilities, battling police, taking control of the streets – and yet, at the same time there’s another side. The streets may
  • Civil Disobedience in Music Civil Disobedience in Music
    A lonely and brave act of civil disobedience can have momentous consequences. In 1955, the seamstress Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat in a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus to a white man. Parks remembered, “Two policemen came on