Re: anthropology of aesthetics

Cliff Sloane (cesloane@MAROON.TC.UMN.EDU)
Wed, 18 Jan 1995 19:29:06 -0600

On Tue, 17 Jan 1995, richley crapo wrote:

> Can anyone recommend a good text for an
> undergraduate approach to the anthropology of
> expressive culture or aesthetics (defined broadly,
> ie., not just "art")?
The ethnomusicological literature is chock full of this! A brief, offthe
cuff list:
Nettl, Bruno, _The Study of Ethnomusicology_, chap. 23, "I never heard a
horse sing!"
Keil, Charles _Tiv Song_ has some passages on the non-art in classless
Keil, Charles and Angeliki have an article called "In Pursuit of Polka
Happiness" that also covers the notion of participatory non-art versus
professionalized art. In one of those post-modern anthologies, edited by
George Lipsitz.
Roger Wallis and Krister Malm, _Big sounds from small peoples: the music
industry in small countries_ deals with the impact of the music industry
on local aesthetic systems, networks, etc.

and of course, the classic of classics, Alan Merriam's _The Anthropology
of Music_. In particular, look at chapters 4 (concepts) and 12 (Music as
symbolic behavior).

And (ahem!), your humble poster has written a short piece for the popular
press on the worldbeat phenomenon, asking why some local stars make it
big while others remain local sensations.

Just a start. Write for more, if you need other ideas.