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The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Gopinath, Sumanth

Editore: The MIT Press, 2013
ISBN 10: 0262019159 / ISBN 13: 9780262019156
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Titolo: The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural...

Casa editrice: The MIT Press

Data di pubblicazione: 2013

Legatura: Hardcover

Condizione libro: New


Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service! Summary: "There is no book like this. Politically, theoretically, and sonically engaged, The Ringtone Dialectic takes something of seemingly minor significance -- cellphone ringtones -- and uses it to explore the structure and dynamics of global capitalism. Gopinathraises the bar in the study of the political economy of sound." -- DavidSuisman , author of Selling Sounds: The Commercial Revolution in AmericanMusic. Codice inventario libreria ABE_book_new_0262019159

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A decade ago, the customizable ringtone was ubiquitous. Almost any crowd of cell phone owners could produce a carillon of tinkly, beeping, synthy, musicalized ringer signals. Ringtones quickly became a multi-billion-dollar global industry and almost as quickly faded away. In The Ringtone Dialectic, Sumanth Gopinath charts the rise and fall of the ringtone economy and assesses its effect on cultural production.

Gopinath describes the technical and economic structure of the ringtone industry, considering the transformation of ringtones from monophonic, single-line synthesizer files to polyphonic MIDI files to digital sound files and the concomitant change in the nature of capital and rent accumulation within the industry. He discusses sociocultural practices that seemed to wane as a result of these shifts, including ringtone labor, certain forms of musical notation and representation, and the creation of musical and artistic works quoting ringtones. Gopinath examines "declines," "reversals," and "revivals" of cultural forms associated with the ringtone and its changes, including the Crazy Frog fad, the use of ringtones in political movements (as in the Philippine "Gloriagate" scandal), the ringtone's narrative function in film and television (including its striking use in the films of the Chinese director Jia Zhangke), and the ringtone's relation to pop music (including possible race and class aspects of ringtone consumption). Finally, Gopinath considers the attempt to rebrand ringtones as "mobile music" and the emergence of cloud computing.

L'autore: Sumanth Gopinath is Associate Professor of Music Theory at the University of Minnesota.

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