Ubiquitous Musics offers a multidisciplinary approach to the pervasive presence of music in everyday life. The essays address a variety of situations in which music is present alongside other activities and does not demand focused attention from (sometimes involuntary) listeners. The contributors present different theoretical perspectives on the increasing ubiquity of music and its implications for the experience of listening.
The collection consists of nine essays divided into three sections: Histories, Technologies, and Spaces. The first section addresses the historical origins of functional music and the debates on how reproduced music, including a wide range of styles and genres, spread so quickly across so many environments. The second section focuses on more contemporary sound technologies, including mobile phones in India, the role of visible playback technology in film, and listening to portable digital players. The final section reflects on settings such as malls, stores, gyms, offices and cars in which ubiquitous musics are often present, but rarely thought about. This last section - and ultimately the whole collection - seeks to foster a wider understanding of listening practices by lending a fresh, critical ear.