Agency is a concept employed widely and in varied ways across interdisciplinary music studies, from the philosophical to the experimental scientific. This article explores some of the theories and methodologies that inform such perspectives, bringing them into conversation with one another. It begins with a conceptual summary juxtaposing the accounts of musical agency that different fields employ and traces their intellectual influences. The article concludes with examples from interviews and fieldwork in contemporary dance club settings that illustrate, but also further complicate, the notion of musical agency.
Understanding Agency from the Decks to the Dance Floor