Welcome to The International Association for the Study of Popular Music UK and Ireland Branch

Music and Sound at Work

Posted: February 6th, 2015 | Filed under: Calls for Papers | No Comments »

London Conference in Critical Thought
University College London, 26-27 June 2015

This conference stream seeks to provoke discussion around ways in which music and sound could be considered ‘at work’. This construction has two distinct but overlapping and complementary senses.

  1. The acoustic ecology of the world of work: encompassing instances in which workers have soundtracked their labour; or used music to comment on working conditions.
  2. Sound and music that has been put to work: emphasising the exploitation of aural properties for specific social, economic or (bio)political ends (to drive the labour of consumption, for example).

The intention here is to move the focus away from artistry and so-called ‘creative labour’, towards the technics of affect regulation as critical mechanisms of contemporary cultural and libidinal capitalism.

The stream aims to bring critical perspectives from across disciplines into conversation, and may consider themes such as:

  • Office, factory and domestic work soundscapes (background noise, muzak, daytime radio…)
  • Work songs in oral traditions
  • Songs which comment on work and labour conditions
  • Singing, humming and whistling while you work (oral techniques of self-regulation)
  • Sound design and ‘ubiquitous listening’ in leisure and retail environments
  • Company songs and corporate anthems
  • Hold music and incidental white-collar sounds
  • Branded music, jingles, audio logos, trademarked sounds and aural promotional culture
  • Sonic weaponry and the military-entertainment complex

Contributions are encouraged that draw on anthropology, sociology and ethnomusicology; sound studies; psycho-acoustics; cultural history; political economy; organisational psychology; critical management and marketing; science and technology studies; labour process; aesthetics – amongst others.

You can get more information on this stream and the full Call For Papers.

Please send submissions to: [email protected]. Deadline for submission: Monday 16 March.

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