• Bossa Nova and Twenty-First Century Commerce: Branded Ubiquitous Music and the Global Bourgeoisie

    K.E. Goldschmitt (see profile)
    Ethnomusicology, Musicology, Popular music
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Brand, Brazil, marketing, music industry, Popular Music Studies
    Permanent URL:
    In the United States, most middle-class listeners often have passive contact with bossa nova. In recent decades, this contact is often in the context of restaurants, bars, and increasingly in spaces more directly affiliated with commerce such as clothing stores, coffee shops, and bookstores. As common as bossa nova and other Brazilian musical styles are in commercial spaces, few have questioned why that genre above others has been uniquely poised to fulfill a variety of ubiquitous music needs, and more to the point, what social and cultural transactions occur when the music is placed in these contexts. This essay seeks to understand the ease with which bossa nova, in all of its guises, has found an extended life as ubiquitous music in outlets where audiences are least likely to be paying attention to what they are hearing. While the practice of using bossa nova in restaurants and bars has a precedent through its popularity among jazz musicians, this essay focuses on the role of pre-recorded music in these contexts. It draws from interviews conducted with independent record industry personnel in Brazil as well as with the producers of “canned” music content for a variety of retail contexts. This essay is in conversation with debates of distracted sensory perception from auditory / sound studies and media studies. By treating bossa nova as sound more than as a musical text in these environments, this essay foregrounds the unique function of this musical style as conducive to commerce.
    Commissioned article for a book under contract with Oxford University Press.
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    All Rights Reserved


    Item Name: pdf ubiquitous-bossa-nova-rewrite-for-core.pdf
      Download View in browser
    Activity: Downloads: 322