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Conventional Wisdom – The Content of Musical Form - California Scholarship Online
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Conventional Wisdom: The Content of Musical Form

Susan McClary


This book reexamines the concept of musical convention. Exploring the ways that shared musical practices transmit social knowledge, it offers an account of our own cultural moment in terms of two dominant traditions: tonality and the blues. The author looks at musical history from new and unexpected angles and moves across a broad range of repertoires: the blues, eighteenth-century tonal music, late Beethoven, and rap. The book moves beyond the borders of the “purely musical” into the larger world of history and society, and beyond the idea of a socially stratified core canon toward a musical ... More

Keywords: musical convention, musical practices, social knowledge, musical history, tonality, blues, eighteenth-century music, late Beethoven, rap, musical pluralism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780520221062
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520221062.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Susan McClary, author