Lisa McCormick

Performing Civility

International Competitions in Classical Music

Cambridge University Press 2015

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in MusicNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in SociologyNew Books Network March 18, 2016 Dave O'Brien

The competition seems to be a crucial part of the classical music world. In Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Dr....

The competition seems to be a crucial part of the classical music world. In Performing Civility: International Competitions in Classical Music (Cambridge University Press, 2015), Dr. Lisa McCormick, a lecturer in sociology at the University of Edinburgh, offers a unique insight into the history, function and meaning of the classical music competition. The book offers both a rich history of competitions along with a detailed ethnography of competitors, juries and audiences. McCormick uses a detailed engagement with contemporary cultural sociology to grapple with one of the core questions facing the study of culture, of how performances can be measured, codified and judgements ultimately made. The book also engages with gender, comportment and the body, to think through the interaction of performer, judges and audiences, giving an insight into not only the classical competition, but the nature and function of culture in contemporary society. The book will be important reading beyond sociology, for music scholars and anyone interested in arts and culture.