Taking It to the Bridge

Music as Performance
Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill, editors
Foreword by Elisabeth Le Guin; Afterword by Philip Auslander


The overriding aim of this groundbreaking volume—whether the subject is vocal ornamentation in 19th-century opera or the collective improvisation of the Grateful Dead—is to give new recognition to performance as the core of musical culture. The collection brings together renowned scholars from performance studies and musicology (including Philip Auslander, David Borgo, Daphne Brooks, Nicholas Cook, Maria Delgado, Susan Fast, Dana Gooley, Philip Gossett, Jason King, Elisabeth Le Guin, Aida Mbowa, Ingrid Monson, Roger Moseley, Richard Pettengill, Joseph Roach, and Margaret Savilonis), with the intent of sparking a productive new dialogue on music as performance. Taking It to the Bridge is on the one hand a series of in-depth studies of a broad range of performance artists and genres, and on the other a contribution to ongoing methodological developments within the study of music, with the goal of bridging the approaches of musicology and performance studies, to enable a close, interpretive listening that combines the best of each. At the same time, by juxtaposing musical genres that range from pop and soul to the classics, and from world music to games and web-mediated performances, Taking It to the Bridge provides an inventory of contrasted approaches to the study of performance and contributes to its developing centrality within music studies.

Taking It to the Bridge will become a landmark collection and I applaud the editors and contributors for their wide ranging choice of topics and lively treatment thereof. The essays speak to each other in provocative ways and invite readers to think anew about ‘music and act’ relationships within all traditions of music scholarship and performance.”
—Annie Randall, Bucknell University

Nicholas Cook is 1684 Professor of Music, University of Cambridge.

Richard Pettengill is Associate Professor of Theater, Lake Forest College.

Praise / Awards

  • "Taking it to the Bridge is an excellent primer in the current dialogue between musicology and performance studies."
    -- The Drama Review

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Listen: Interview on Wisconsin Public Radio: Taking It to the Bridge Reveals New Discoveries about Music and Performance

Product Details

  • 400 pages.
  • 14 color illustrations, 24 musical examples, 2 tables, 1 map.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Ebook
  • 2013
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-02930-3

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