Singing Together/Meaning Apart: Popular Music, Participation, and Cultural Politics in Salvador, Brazil

September 2010
Latin American Music Review;Fall/Winter2010, Vol. 31 Issue 2, p241
Academic Journal
In this article, I consider embodiment in relation to popular music practice, subjectivity, and musical meaning. Rather than focus solely on "musicians" understood in a conventional sense, I extend my inquiry to include"listeners" in order to account for the prevalence of audience involvement through dancing and especially singing during musical events in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. Drawing on two years of fieldwork. I explore how audience participation influences the way that professional musicians prepare for performances and build their careers. Applying this notion to a controversial hit song, I then consider how the embodied process of singing together: the most common form of audience participation in Salvador, temporarily merges the subject positions of "listeners" and "performers," shaping the way that a piece of music is understood with profound implications.


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