The past ten years have witnessed an enormous growth of interest in questions of musical meaning and the extent to which it is informed by cultural experience and socially-derived knowledge. This collection of readings will stimulate further debate. It includes critically-acclaimed work which broke new ground in exploring the cultural significance of music and its social meanings, and which had a marked impact on musicology throughout the Western world. Three dozen extracts, a number of them no longer in print elsewhere, are grouped thematically to address such issues as music and language, the body, class, production, and consumption. The extracts have been chosen for the focus they give to particular areas rather than to form any unified framework for studying music and culture. Among the contributors are Jacques Attali, John Blacking, Michel Foucault, Lydia Goehr, Lawrence Kramer, Portia Maultsby, Rose Rosengard Subotnik, and Eero Tarasti. This reader will appeal to students and scholars of sociological and theoretical fields of culture, as well as to anyone interested in why perspectives on music history and music meaning have undergone sweeping changes at the end of the twentieth century.