Monson and Appadurai

My post will address a quote from page 33 of the Monson: RIffs, Repetition and Globalization reading: “My most general presumptions are that conceptual processes are analogical, constantly interpreting one mode of social experience in terms of another, and that the deep systemic and continually reproduced asymmetries of the global economy must be addressed in our thinking.” I think what Monson is trying to say, in my most humble and uninformed opinion, is similar to what Appadurai says in his definition of -scapes; that one must take into account status and culture when evaluating music.

Though she does not even refer to music in this quote, she does so extensively throughout the text. She compares different literature on this very topic of what should constitute one’s evaluation of music and sociological factors, and from the quote it is apparent that she agrees that demographics should be taken into account. Her idea that the world is an interacting place of nations and nationalities is similar to Appadurai but she does not explicitly divide up this thought into -scapes. She does, however, say she thinks that the “asymmetries of the global economy must be addressed in our thinking,” but does not provide concrete facts from organizations such as the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, but rather discusses class differences instead. Overall her main argument has to do more with the types of beats and their relation to social context but I chose this quote because it related to Appadurai so well and was confusing to me at first until I hashed it out more in writing.


Transitional and Transnational Tunes- March 29, 2012

I was interested by the way that the “Ecumenical America” article presented the way that music shifted from Jamaica to the US rather than from the US to other countries. I often, subconsciously and sadly, think of the US as the predominate music culture with our Hollywood agencies and the prevalence of pop. I had an experience singing Wonderwall by Oasis in English on a subway in Spain when it came on over the loudspeakers with a huge group of my non-english speaking Spanish friends, and I believe that was the beginning of my personal formation of this bias towards thinking that most music is imported from the US to other cultures (like “Bollywood” and in European discotheques)

My main reaction to the authors description of how reggae came to America was the deep historical context by which it came to be- the “in the streets” rough and tough immigrants bringing Marley’s music to popular music concerts like Rock the Bells and Blazed and Confused concerts. I had many questions about some of the specifics such as the “separate but truly equal part on page 113 but appreciated and felt like I understood what the author meant by “transnational space” – or at least think I understood it!