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78 BluesFolksongs and Phonographs in the American South$
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John Minton

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781934110195

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781934110195.001.0001

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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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