Synopses & Reviews
Ethnographic analysis of urban music in Japan
Tokyo Listening examines how the sensory experience of the city informs how people listen to both music and everyday, ubiquitous sounds. Drawing on recent scholarship in the fields of sound studies, anthropology, and ethnomusicology and over fifteen years of ethnographic fieldwork in Japan, Lorraine Plourde traces the linkages between sound and urban space. She examines listening cultures via four main ethnographic sites in Tokyo--an experimental music venue, classical music cafes, office workspaces, and department stores--looking specifically at how such auditory sensibilities are cultivated. The book brings together two different types of spaces into the same frame of reference: places people go to specifically for the music, and spaces where the music comes to them. Tokyo Listening examines the sensory experience of urban listening as a planned and multifaceted dimension of everyday city life, ultimately exploring the relationship between sound, comfort, happiness, and productivity.