International Competitions in Classical Music
Cambridge University Press 2015
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.