Despite the musical and social roles they play in many parts of the world, wind bands have not attracted much interest from sociologists. The Sociology of Wind Bands seeks to fill this gap in research by providing a sociological account of this musical universe as it stands now. Based on a qualitative and quantitative survey conducted in northeastern France, the authors present a vivid description of the orchestras, the backgrounds and practices of their musicians, and the repertoires they play. Their multi-level analysis, ranging from the cultural field to the wind music subfield and to everyday life relationships within bands and local communities, sheds new light on the social organisation, meanings and functions of a type of music that is all too often taken for granted. Yet they go further than merely portraying a musical genre. As wind music is routinely neglected and socially defined in terms of its poor musical quality or even bad taste, the book addresses the thorny issue of the effects of cultural hierarchy and domination. It proposes an imaginative and balanced framework which, beyond the specific case of wind music, is an innovative contribution to the sociology of lowbrow culture.
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