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ACYS publications

Sounds of then, sounds of now

Sounds of then, sounds of now: Popular music in Australia

Edited by Shane Homan and Tony Mitchell
ACYS Publishing
June 2008
ISBN: 978 1 875236 60 2 (pbk)
Cost: $49.95(including GST) plus postage

20% discount for bulk orders
(5 or more copies)

Order form (PDF) | Email inquiries | Media kit (PDF) | Reviews

At a time when Australian popular music is enjoying increasing international critical and commercial success, this wide-ranging new collection offers a critical revision of popular music's place in Australian society.

In Sounds of then, sounds of now: Popular music in Australia some of the country's most respected popular music researchers, musicians and music journalists document a range of past and present Australian sounds and scenes.

The collection maps recent changes in music consumption, production and media technologies, and the implications for local industries. It reconciles local music histories with contemporary practice, and reflects upon the growth and current diversity of Australian research, music genres and contexts, including jazz, rock, folk, metal, electronica, dance music, experimental music and hip hop. Chapters examining Aboriginal, Islander and world musics offer new perspectives on local and transnational relationships between popular music, geography and culture in Australia.

This text provides a means for understanding how popular music has expressed, reflected and influenced changes in Australian society through debates about youth, nationalism, censorship, local identity, contested spaces and enduring mythologies about 'Australianness'. While some chapters examine earlier scenes and musical forms, the emphasis is upon Australian popular music since World War 2. At the same time, every chapter is informed by global debates and themes, including popular music's ongoing concerns with concepts such as nationalism, cultural imperialism, globalisation, authenticity, appropriation, the 'mainstream', subcultures, genres and the impact of new media and the internet.

The authors' considerable experience in teaching and researching popular music studies has ensured a collection that is lively, accessible and well adapted to use in media, popular music, sociology, musicology and cultural studies courses. Each chapter contains a reference list, discography, a list of key web sites and discussion questions to assist students in linking chapter themes and issues to wider national and international debates.

Reviews of Sounds of then, sounds of now:

"Homan and Mitchell have put together a cast of writers who are passionate about their subjects, thoughtful and theoretically interesting, and immensely knowledgeable, not only about the histories and personalities of the various kinds of music they write about, but also about the music itself ... Sounds of then, sounds of now is perhaps also one of the very few 300-page edited academic books I have ever read with pleasure in one sitting. It deserves to be read widely by anyone with an interest in Australian music and in an inclusive view of Australian popular culture.

(Theo Van Leeuwen (Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Technology Sydney), Transforming Cultures eJournal, v.4, n.1, April 2009.)

"This book will bring teachers up to date on the latest academic approaches to popular music in Australia. This book has a number of uses as a resource for both students and teachers". Its "information is right up to date and this makes it the best resource I have found for examining the future of music as a popular culture.

(Dean Newbold, Culture scope (journal of the Society and Culture Association of NSW.)

 ... a superb analysis of the Australian music scene ... These are thoughtful and intelligent academic papers laden with footnotes and even with questions at the end of each chapter.

(Bruce Elder, Sydney Morning Herald, 2-3 August, Spectrum p.31)

Sounds of then, sounds of now: Popular music in Australia
Edited by Shane Homan and Tony Mitchell
June 2008 Order form