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Music and Sound, Geography and

  • By: Thomas L. Bell
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The first systematic scholarly studies of music in geography were conducted by cultural geographers in the late 1960s and 1970s. These efforts were largely limited to examining music lyrics for their geographic content. Location and the evocation of attachment to these places is, indeed, one important aspect of the geography of music, but the subfield of music geography has become more sophisticated in the intervening decades. The current focus is not only on the geographic significance of lyrics but also on the origin and diffusion of disparate musical styles, the geographic variations in consumer demand for various genres and artists, and the enormously important music industry, which produces, markets, and distributes these artistic endeavors.

Prior to the invention of the phonograph in the 1870s and the ...

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