Cavicchi, “Loving Music: Listeners, Entertainments, & the Origins of Music Fandom in 19th Century America”

August 17, 2008

I found this article really interesting in light of a class I took in the Spring with Barry Taylor on pop music. We talked about some of these same issues, especially regarding the changing experience of music with the entrance of technology and the ability to buy music to listen to over and over whenever you wanted to under any conditions. I like that we can trace fandom (at least in music) further back than merely the entrance of the internet or the TV. That tells us it’s not just a technology-driven phenomenon (though it is certainly technology-enabled). The negative in the article was the tracing of the commodification of art and performance (and people, and personalities, and public personas). We sell everything these days, even (and perhaps especially, or rather essentially?) ourselves. Which means on some level we buy each other. So identity value decreases, self-image decreases, oh my. What a dark path I’ve started down.

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