Musicology Without Music

  • Kyle DevineEmail author
Part of the Pop Music, Culture and Identity book series (PMCI)


The phrase “musicology without music” is not a call to abandon music or musicology. Rather, it is a call to expand and multiply those domains by highlighting the ways that they are not only inseparable from but also constituted by a variety of distributed and ostensibly non-musical conditions. The word “without,” then, connotes less its everyday prepositional meaning as lack than its archaic adverbial meaning as outside—although, as I show in this chapter, the latter (musicology that begins from a position that is exterior to “music”) authorizes the former (musicology that proceeds in the absence of “music”). The point is to develop a mediatic version of music research that does not begin as a musicology of music—that does not begin in a tautology whereby the force of pre-constructed definitions of either music or musicology delimit what music or musicology can be or should do. I illustrate the epistemological and political benefits of this perspective by attending to the key materials that constitute the distinctive thin sizzle of the 78-rpm disc as a format.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MusicologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

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