Semester

Summer

Date of Graduation

2022

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MA

College

College of Creative Arts

Department

School of Music

Committee Chair

Travis Stimeling

Committee Member

Michael Vercelli

Committee Member

Andrew Kohn

Abstract

The aim of this research is to determine if language in the advertising of violin strings is acting as an exclusionary tool in favor of a Western art music “sound” produced by “classical” violinists. It posits that the marketing of strings to violinists is a topic laden with unacknowledged biases and values of musicians within Western art music. The aesthetic values attached to playing Western art music for the violin in the United States are passed on through pedagogic practice and acculturation of language. Product descriptions for strings in the United States employ language which adheres to these cultural values and appeals almost exclusively to practitioners of the Western art canon to the exclusion of other traditions, such as fiddling, which use the same instrument. After establishing the case of aesthetic language as imprecise and exclusionary, the author then proposes that empirical data may be used in combination with said language. Such an approach could provide a more objective perspective on the capabilities of strings and therefore appeal to a more diverse consumer.

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