top of page

Reading Citations: "Music and Technoculture" - (Lysloff and Gay 2003) CHAPTER THREE

A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery (pp. 64-92)

Transnational Music Sampling and Enigma’s “Return to Innocence”

“Globalisation as we currently discuss it and theorise it cannot be conceived of without taking into consideration digital technologies that have sped up the movement of information.” (p.64)

Globalisation / “Glocalisation”

“…an “infoscape” which to some extent is the atmosphere in which the others (“technoscapes,” “ideoscapes,” “ethnoscapes,” “mediascapes,” and “finanscapes” that Arjun Appadurai labeled and theorised) exist, made possible by the computer, the Internet, and other digital technologies.” (p.64)

“People — and thus their cultures, and more specifically, their musics — have always interacted. Historian Jerry H. Bentley asserts that “cross-cultural encounters have been a regular feature of world history since the earliest days of the human species.”” (p.65)

“Bentley distinguished three main periods of travel and intercultural exchange, beginning with the Roman and Han empires…He first identifies the era of the ancient silk roads, which he dates at roughly 400 to 200 B.C., as the first major period of intercultural contact.

The next major period began around the sixth century; crosscultural exchange was fostered by the foundation of large imperial states such as the Tang, Abbasid, and Carolingian empires and relied on the cooperation of nomadic peoples, who provided transportation links between settled regions….

This second era blended into the third, the last pre-Columbian one, from roughly 1000 to 1350 A.D.; long distance trade increased dramatically over both sea and land and was marked by the rise of nomadic peoples, namely the Turks and the Mongols, into political power and expansion. The bubonic plague in the later fourteenth century disrupted trade until the fifteenth, leading to a fourth and more studied colonial expansion of European powers.” (p.65)

“Immanuel Wallerstein … coined the term “modern world-system” to describe the establishment of regular contact around most parts of the world. For Wallerstein, modernity itself is this rise of capitalism and world trade that began in the sixteenth century. This expansion…wasn’t just a geographic (that is, colonial) expansion but also an economic one, accompanied by demographic growth, increased agricultural productivity, and…the first industrial revolution.” (p.66)

“Today’s globalisation is less something new than a continuation of global processes that have been in place since the late fifteenth century and were themselves preceded by precapitalist forms of crosscultural exchange.” (p.66)

“…some things are different today….The main difference, though, isn’t merely the speed of dissemination, or even the seeming gluts of forms and signs, but rather the fact that there are more and more signs and forms elsewhere coming to the developed countries. What we are in the midst of today isn’t simply a globalisation in which forms flow everywhere but rather a moment in which forms from elsewhere are coming to the West with increasing frequency; it was this increase in recordings from other places to European and American metropoles that prompted the invention of the term “world music” over a decade ago” (p.66)

“The hype surrounding the new global economy covers up to a certain extent the fact that capitalism is as exploitative as it ever was — perhaps more so — and is constantly seeking new people around the world to use as cheap labor, which, according to Wallerstein, has been the impetus behind global expansion for centuries. The term (globalisation) also helps preserve an old binary opposition that is increasingly waning, the binary between “global” and “local” that has been much theorised lately.” (p.66)

“Perhaps a better term than globalisation is “glocalisation,”… Glocalisation emphasises the extent to which the local and the global are no longer distinct — indeed, never were — but are inextricably intertwined, with one infiltrating and implicating the other.” (p.67)


“The term globalisation can hide old forms of exploitation dressed up in contemporary business language…Capitalism in this global/informational economy is finding new ways of splitting sonic signifiers from their signifieds and from their makers in a process Steven Feld has called “schizophonia”.” (p.84)

0 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page