Archive | December, 2011

CFP: Music, Labor, Value

12 Dec

[The CFP below crossed my desk today. I am also editing a special issue on performance and labor, which you can read the call for here].

Sonic Work: Music, Labor, Value

A Special Issue of the Journal for Popular Music Studies

Call For Papers


Bollywood heartthrob Ranbir Kapoor sings for sex workers working as extras on the set of his film "Rockstar."

Marina Peterson, Jesse Shipley, Guest Editors

We are interested in papers from a variety of academic fields and sonic contexts that address issues of music, labor, and value broadly conceived. Making music involves labor of various sorts, whether playing an instrument, chopping up a sample, laying down lyrics, or performing for an audience. These practices resonate in and with urban and transnational soundscapes. Taking into account the changing technologies of production, circulation and listening, making music connects in literal and metaphoric ways to making money and making a living. At the same time, music is posited as detached from so-called worldly values in various ways-religious music is taken to be spiritually transformative, popular music is often escapist, courtly music is understood as linking political power to various ideas of aesthetic beauty. Yet in all of these cases, music converts aesthetic value into material value in various ways. And while some musicians struggle to maintain control of their music away from the effects of commodification, others strive for fame and fortune and seek to brand and package their music for mass consumption. We seek to elaborate on a range of aspects of the dynamics inhering in music, labor, and value, from the meaning and nature of musical practice to the transformations linking aesthetic, economic, moral, and linguistic modes of value. We are also interested in pieces that work with sound beyond music proper. Papers should be approximately 7000 words.

Subjects might include but are not limited to
-musicians’ unions and other collectives
-representations of musical labor in literature, film, television, visual arts
-music and symbolic capital

-music as queer labor


-religion and music

-sound and urban space

-sounds of work

-changing technology and its relation to changing forms of labor

-digital and analogue, live and electronic modes of labor

-work and pay

-amateur practice

-scales of value, including local production and global circulation

Send abstracts to Jesse Shipley ( or Marina Peterson ( by January 13th, 2012.

Remix Theory

6 Dec

Nick turned me on to this site:

Remix Theory.

I love the fact that the author holds up Reader’s Digest as an example of the remix.