Who Needs Classical Music?

Who Needs Classical Music? : Cultural Choice and Musical Values

3.87 (55 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 11 business days
When will my order arrive?


During the last several 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. In Who Needs Classical Music?, Julian Johnson challenges these dominant assumptions about the relativism of cultural judgements. The author 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 works in quite different ways than most of the other music that surrounds us. In this long essay, Johnson aims to restore classical music's intrinsic aesthetic value and to rescue it from a designation as mere signifier of elitism or refinement. Who Needs Classical Music? is certain to spark debate among cultural critics and have important repercussions for arts policy.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 150 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 20mm | 381.02g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0195146816
  • 9780195146813
  • 982,666

Review quote

There is much to admire and provoke in this book ... it warrants serious engagement ... Read it and discuss the issues it raises as widely as possible because it offers the opportunity for serious debate about music and its relationship to the way we live our lives. * Popular Music *show more

About Julian Johnson

Julian Johnson was educated at the University of Cambridge, Dartington College of the Arts, and the University of Sussex, and is currently a lecturer in Music at Oxford University. The author of Webern and the Transformation of Nature, Johnson is well known for his work on music aesthetics and the relation of music to society. He is also a composer.show more

Rating details

55 ratings
3.87 out of 5 stars
5 31% (17)
4 42% (23)
3 15% (8)
2 9% (5)
1 4% (2)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X