Music Lovers. Taste as Performance

Abstract : This article presents the implications, objectives and initial results of a current ethnographic research project on music lovers. It looks at problems of theory and method posed by such research if it is not conceived only as the explanation of external determinisms, relating taste to the social origins of the amateur or to the aesthetic properties of the works. Our aim is, on the contrary, from long interviews and observations undertaken with music lovers, mostly in the classical field, to concentrate on gestures, objects, mediums, devices and relations engaged in a form of playing or listening, which amounts to more than the actualization of a taste `already there', for they are redefined during the action, with a result that is partly uncertain. This is why amateurs' attachments and ways of doing things can both engage and form subjectivities, rather than merely recording social labels, and have a history, irreducible to that of the taste for works.
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Antoine Hennion. Music Lovers. Taste as Performance. Theory, Culture, Society, 2001, 18 (5), pp.1-22. ⟨halshs-00193124⟩

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