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The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Sumanth Gopinath

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
book
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.001.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

A decade ago, the customizable ringtone was ubiquitous. Almost any crowd of cell phone owners could produce a carillon of tinkly, beeping, synthy, musicalized ringer signals. Ringtones quickly became ... More


Ringtones and the Deskilling of Mobile-Musical Labor: A Preliminary Investigation

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0002
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The purpose of this chapter is to offer an account of the types of musical labor in the ringtone industry, and discrepancies in payment and prestige of its participants, and the work that musicians ... More


Left Behind: Case Studies of Decline and Recapitulation in the Ringtone as Representation

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0003
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

What happens when to an older technological form that is supplanted when a newer one is incorporated into everyday social life in its place? This chapter addresses that question, and in the case of ... More


This Business of Ringtones: The Unstable Value Chain and Accumulation of Capital by Rent in the Global Ringtone Industry

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0001
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

A history of the development of the ringtone industry is provided in this chapter, with a particular focus on its technological advances, including the changes from monophonic and polyphonic ... More


The Ringtone and Its Aesthetic Subgenres in Contemporary Classical Music and Media Performance/Installation Art

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0004
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

The central goal of this chapter is to track the emergence of new genres of contemporary music and art enabled by the monophonic and polyphonic ringtone. It highlights the medley composition, the ... More


The Annoying Thing: Crazy Frog and the Strange Career of a Sample

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0005
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter examines the history of the Crazy Frog as the first of three case studies of sound-file ringtone creation and use, characterised by individual, non-professional, and anonymous cultural ... More


The Voice of the Politician and the Geographic Dispersion of the Political Ringtone

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0006
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter looks at the dramatic successes and false starts in social movements' political utilization of the ringtone. It highlights the use of political ringtones to support or criticise ... More


A Spectrum of Forms: The Aesthetic Logic of Original Sound-File Ringtone Composition

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0007
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

What does it mean to compose a ringtone? This chapter explores this question and argues that the earlier form of the ringtone provided the most distinctive sonic material that artists and composers ... More


Personalization and Spectatorship: The Ringtone's Narrative Functions in Cinematic and Televisual Media

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0008
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter charts a stream of televisual and cinematic mobile modernity, one that depends on the logics of personalization and actor-object identification. This chapter also examines the uses of ... More


What's in a Name? Race and the Ringtone's Revival in (Un-)Popular Music

Sumanth Gopinath

in The Ringtone Dialectic: Economy and Cultural Form

Published in print:
2013
Published Online:
January 2014
ISBN:
9780262019156
eISBN:
9780262315081
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:
10.7551/mitpress/9780262019156.003.0009
Subject:
History, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

This chapter discusses the ways that mobile telephony appears to have assumed a significant role in black society, crossing class divisions between black middle class and black working class society, ... More


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