Listening to Gregory Isaacs

Peart, Edwina. 2022. Listening to Gregory Isaacs. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (Listening to Gregory Isaacs)
MED_thesis_PeartE_2022.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This research project examines the value, nature and workings of musical communication through the life work of the late, great reggae artist Gregory Isaacs. The research priority is the listening experience. An experience that is active, embodied, and in concert with the voice, where meaning is made and musical communication takes place. My methodology draws on listeners from the reggae music industry, academics and cultural commentators, and most importantly those who love Gregory. In-depth qualitative interviews, constructed listening sessions with focus group discussions, and radio programmes are treated as listening environments. The collective and individual experience is gathered and accounted for through his voice and sound which is used as a point of audition. This methodological approach facilitates the unification of hitherto separated dimensions of musical communication such as crystallisation of value, medium of propagation, recollection and reworking, the social, economic and political milieu and immediate experience. They are accommodated in the multi-dimensional, unfolding (Eidsheim 2019) practice of musicking (Small 1998) that unearths and confirms relationships of interiority, exteriority and agency. This emphasis embeds and appreciates the listening community in the process of explicating and analysing what is being heard, the affects and effects of this, what it affords and makes possible for the group and individual. This approach offers insights into the nature of musical communication that are likely to be found in other contexts with other genres of music.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


Gregory Isaacs, reggae, listening, fans, popular music, musical communication, musical value

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


31 August 2022

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

14 Sep 2022 13:14

Last Modified:

18 Oct 2022 12:33


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)