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Learning to listen

Learning to listen

(p.11) Chapter One Learning to listen
78 Blues
John Minton
University Press of Mississippi

This chapter argues that Southerners often experienced old-time records in the moment as folksong performances, as familiar social occasions—or at least as close kin. It also suggests that perceptions of electronic media are culture-specific and cross-culturally variable—as much so as oral or written communication—and that any culture’s rules for understanding electronic media may rise to the level of its other means of expression, oral, written, or otherwise. In other words, just as people must learn to use speech or writing as part of their basic enculturation, they learn to communicate through records or radio as culturally defined media.

Keywords:   records, record listening, folksongs, Southerners, electronic media, cultural media, Southern folk music

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