The Aesthetics of Drone

Authored by: Jonathan W. Bernard

The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  September  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138683112
eBook ISBN: 9781315544700
Adobe ISBN:


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Any essay with the word “aesthetics” in its title is bound to traffic to some extent in ­generalizations, and this one will be no exception, partly because of the looseness, even vagueness of the term. For this very reason, perhaps, in some of my previously published work on music of the past hundred years I have found aesthetics useful as a vehicle for attempting to get beyond matters of style or technique, which in their particularity can easily deflect attention from what one might call root causes or foundations. But dealing exclusively in generalizations can often prove frustrating for both the writer and his or her audience—especially, perhaps, to a repertoire-minded audience that would like to see general ideas eventually illustrated in more concrete terms—so as a kind of counterbalance I propose to frame my inquiry here with the following set of questions, which should enable me to get down to cases at least once in a while:

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