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DigSound and Music in Hip Culture$
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Phil Ford

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199939916

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199939916.001.0001

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Hip Sensibility in an Age of Mass Counterculture

Hip Sensibility in an Age of Mass Counterculture

(p.109) 4 Hip Sensibility in an Age of Mass Counterculture

Phil Ford

Oxford University Press

Chapter 4 considers the hip sensibility as it enjoyed its breakout success in the 1960s. While chapter 2 considers the early Cold War style of hip intellectualism—ironic, skeptical, literary, disaffiliative, and colored by the era's general dislike of the mass—chapter 4 describes how it changed within a mass counterculture. While the earlier generation sought a complicated reconciliation of meaning and sensory presence, the later one sought a purer presence in which meaning might dissolve altogether. This succession of moods within the hip sensibility registers on three exemplary pieces of music, each separated from the others by about a decade: Charlie Parker's “Ornithology,” Ken Nordine's “Sound Museum,” and Bob Dylan's “Ballad of a Thin Man.”

Keywords:   Charlie Parker, Nordine, Bob Dylan, Sensibility, Mass culture, Counterculture, Sixties [or 1960s]

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