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Fan discourse and the construction of noise music as a genre

Atton, Chris


Chris Atton


Recent theoretical interest in Noise has drawn attention to the difficulties of making sense of it as a musical practice. Various claims have been made: Noise challenges the entire history of musical codes; it represents the end of music; it is a new, all-subsuming genre; it is not a genre at all. These tensions and contradictions suggest important questions about how genres are constructed (and how they are denied). This paper examines how listeners construct the “genre-culture” of Noise. An examination of fan-writing practices reveals tensions (similar to those within theory) within an amateur critical discourse that considers Noise as generic and anti-generic, as private and public, and as transcendental and mundane. However, the study provides evidence that fans rely on generic markers for the purposes of distinction and classification to guide them through purchasing choices, from which they are able to engage in the more problematic questions of the aesthetics of Noise.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011
Deposit Date Oct 3, 2011
Print ISSN 1524-2226
Electronic ISSN 1533-1598
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 23
Pages 324-342
Keywords Popular music; genres; cultural artefacts; Japanese noise music;
Public URL