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The Race of Sound

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The Race of Sound

Listening, Timbre, and Vocality in African American Music

Format

Hardback

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The Race of Sound by Nina Sun Eidsheim
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Description

In The Race of Sound Nina Sun Eidsheim traces the ways in which sonic attributes that might seem natural, such as the voice and its qualities, are socially produced. Eidsheim illustrates how listeners measure race through sound and locate racial subjectivities in vocal timbre-the color or tone of a voice. Eidsheim examines singers Marian Anderson, Billie Holiday, and Jimmy Scott as well as the vocal synthesis technology Vocaloid to show how listeners carry a series of assumptions about the nature of the voice and to whom it belongs. Outlining how the voice is linked to ideas of racial essentialism and authenticity, Eidsheim untangles the relationship between race, gender, vocal technique, and timbre while addressing an undertheorized space of racial and ethnic performance. In so doing, she advances our knowledge of the cultural-historical formation of the timbral politics of difference and the ways that comprehending voice remains central to understanding human experience, all the while advocating for a form of listening that would allow us to hear singers in a self-reflexive, denaturalized way.

Author Biography

Nina Sun Eidsheim is Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the author of Sensing Sound: Singing and Listening as Vibrational Practice, also published by Duke University Press.
Release date NZ
November 1st, 2018
Country of Publication
United States
Illustrations
38 illustrations
Imprint
Duke University Press
Pages
288
ISBN-13
9780822368564
Product ID
27875008

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