For a century and more, the idea of democracy has fuelled musicians' imaginations. Seeking to go beyond music's proven capacity to contribute to specific political causes, musicians have explored how aspects of their practice embody democratic principles. This may involve adopting particular approaches to compositional material, performance practice, relationships to audiences, or modes of dissemination and distribution.
Finding Democracy in Music is the first study to offer a wide-ranging investigation of ways in which democracy may thus be found in music. A guiding theme of the volume is that this takes place in a plurality of ways, depending upon the perspective taken to music's manifold relationships, and the idea of democracy being entertained. Contributing authors explore various genres including orchestral composition, jazz, the post-war avant-garde, online performance, and contemporary popular music, as well as employing a wide array of theoretical, archival, and ethnographic methodologies. Particular attention is given to the contested nature of democracy as a category, and the gaps that frequently arise between utopian aspiration and reality. In so doing, the volume interrogates a key way in which music helps to articulate and shape our social lives and our politics.