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Who Needs Classical Music? – Cultural Choice and Musical Values - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Who Needs Classical Music?: Cultural Choice and Musical Values

Julian Johnson


In the last decades most cultural critics have come to agree that the division between “high” and “low” art is an artificial one, that Beethoven's Ninth and Blue Suede Shoes are equally valuable as cultural texts. This book challenges these dominant assumptions about the relativism of cultural judgements. The book maintains that music is more than just “a matter of taste”: while some music provides entertainment, or serves as background noise, other music functions as art. This book considers the value of classical music in contemporary society, arguing that it remains distinctive because it w ... More

Keywords: high art, low art, Beethoven, Blue Suede Shoes, relativism, cultural judgements, classical music

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2002 Print ISBN-13: 9780195146813
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195146813.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julian Johnson, author
Oxford University
Author Webpage