Ethonography in music

Music over the years has had a changing effect with many, including myself culturally identifying ourselves by the music we listen to. Certain cultural experiences draws me to music as a way of escapism as it calms me and reflects the mood that I’m in at that moment in time. Values and beliefs are also shared in music aswell as memories. Furthermore there is a belief that music effects our ‘opportunistic’ (Vinnini. P 2008) because media being as powerful as it provides an easy solution to social challenges; for example in my experience I’ve seen youngsters from unprivileged backgrounds who don’t see a way of surpassing themselves from their situation, they hence why they ‘volunteer’ (Vinnini. P 2008) theirselves to be influenced by music- most commonly rap music in which rap stars express their anger by cursing and rapping about people, particularly women in a derogatory manner and somehow to them it is seen as socially acceptable because of their unfortunate background.

Moreover theorist Tia DeNora suggests the argument that we use music as technology unknowingly ( DeNora. T 2000). Furthermore she explains that music is a technology of self, that are a set of tools and techniques, some examples being when working out I listen to music in order to motivate myself to push myself harder, when doing uni work music it helps me concentrate and alleviates any stress I’ve had from my day. Music fundamentally helps mould my emotional state, when Perhaps years ago I would of seen it as art; but today it used for specific purposes.

Additionally as many know london is one of the most over populated cities in the world where it’s never quiet! The sound of vehicles, builders demolishing buildings and people chit chatting around me. Thus why I never leave my home without my iPod and earphones. The beats from the rhythm of the music replaces the noisy sounds of the builders building, I feel calm even though their so much going around me and memories of what happened to me whilst in London resonate through my mind. However when I’m in bristol it’s a very different experience as the city is much quieter and there’s less people, so I’m not listening to music to block out everything and everyone around me but I’m listening to it merely for my enjoyment whilst admiring the peaceful city. I feel at peace and I find myself being happier here as everyone is friendly where I go and the streets are less crowded or busy.

Vinnini. P (2008) Phillip Vannini on the ethnography of music. Available from: [Accessed 5 Octobet 2014]

DeNora. T (2000) Music in Everyday Life. Cambridge: Cambridge-Obeikan


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