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The world is sound? Geography, musicology and British-Asian soundscapes

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This paper contributes to recent geographical engagements with sound and music by exploring the benefits of a geographical approach conversant with musicological and ethnomusicological tools and agendas within a specific political and empirical context: British-Asian cultural politics and contemporary dance music. Doing so, it suggests, sheds new light on an existing body of anthropological and cultural studies literature that critically highlights the commodification of exotica in this type of dance music. The paper shows how analysing the spatial politics of British-Asian musicality evokes the dynamic complexities around identity, belonging and the geographies of British popular culture and British-ness generated through this mode of cultural production.

Keywords: British-Asian dance music; cultural politics; geography; identity; musicology

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, Email:

Publication date: September 1, 2005


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