Aesthetic and social aspects of emerging Utopian musical communities

Michael Saffle*, Helan H L Yang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The article identifies and examines aspects of utopian thought and action in music, especially popular music, in several real, imagined, and virtual aesthetic and social manifestations. Three new terms characterize these and other, closely related phenomena: logotopias or imagined communities organized largely around texts; phonotopias or virtual communities organized largely around recorded sounds; and tachytopias or real-life communities organized around intermittent, often retrospective, and occasionally tourist-like events. Special attention is paid to three pop-music tachytopias: the self-proclaimed Guitar Army of 1960s and early 1970s Europe and the USA; the migratory American Dead Heads of the later 20th century; and the Cantopop concerts held in Hong Kong during the early 2000s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-341
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Music

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anita Mui
  • Arturo Toscanini
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Carnival
  • Connie Chan
  • Daniel Barenboim
  • Dead heads
  • Edward Said
  • Fillmore auditoriums
  • Frank Zappa
  • Freak Central
  • Glenn Gould
  • Guitar army
  • Hong Kong
  • Hong Kong Coliseum
  • Imagined communities
  • John Sinclair
  • Logotopia
  • Megaconcerts
  • Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
  • Oneida community
  • Phonotopia
  • Reeperbahn
  • Robert Schumann
  • Tachytopia
  • The Beatles
  • The grateful dead
  • Thomas More
  • Utopia, Utopian
  • West-Eastern Divan Orchestra


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