Popular Music Theory
Contents
• Intro to Popular Music Theory
• Postmodernism and Popular Music
• Social Class and Popular Music
• Age and ...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Theory underpinning the study of popular music is particularly
wide-ranging, incorporating...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Traditional musicologists have analysed the composition
of popular music as if it were a c...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
This approach has been criticised by some for
neglecting the ‘performative’ and ‘improvisa...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
In Look! Hear! The uneasy relationship of music and television
(2002) Simon Frith argues t...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
The systematic and scientific study of society and societal behaviour.
The other side of t...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Theorist have tended to focus on issues to do with audiences of popular
music and the repr...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Emanating from this is a school of Media and Cultural Theory
known as ‘Madonna Studies’. I...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
“Is Madonna a glamorized sex doll or the queen of
parodic critique?”.
Pamela Robertson - ...
Intro to Popular Music Theory
Criticisms of this approach say that it ignores the musical and
aesthetic qualities that m...
Popular Music
&
Social Class
Popular Music and Postmodernism
Postmodernism:
Faith in grand narrative has collapsed (science, religion, history,
prog...
Popular Music and Postmodernism
Records: the
ultimate
simulacrums?
Some argue that musical recordings are the epitome ...
Popular Music and Postmodernism
The music video re-enforces this in its depiction of inauthentic
performances and abstra...
Popular Music and Postmodernism
Others have tried to identify key moments in the history of popular
music when it seemed...
Popular Music
&
Postmodernism
Paul Willis
A Social Theory for the Social Meaning of Pop
(1973)
Popular Music and Social Class
Paul Willis views popular music culture as an authentic
expression of working class youth...
Popular Music and Social Class
High Culture
----------------------------------------------------------------------------...
Popular Music and Social Class
He views popular music as a new form of media literacy for
groups traditionally marginali...
Popular Music and Social Class
“(T)he vast majority of young people involved with pop
music are working class, and share...
Popular Music and Social Class
Criticism: This is a rather sentimental and some might
say patronising view of audiences....
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Popular music-theory-part-one (1)

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Published on: Mar 4, 2016
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Transcripts - Popular music-theory-part-one (1)

  • 1. Popular Music Theory
  • 2. Contents • Intro to Popular Music Theory • Postmodernism and Popular Music • Social Class and Popular Music • Age and Popular Music • Gender and Popular Music • Post-modern Approaches
  • 3. Intro to Popular Music Theory
  • 4. Intro to Popular Music Theory Theory underpinning the study of popular music is particularly wide-ranging, incorporating aspects of Musicology - Media Studies - Cultural Studies - Gender Studies –History – Economics – Literary Studies
  • 5. Intro to Popular Music Theory Traditional musicologists have analysed the composition of popular music as if it were a classical composition. Howard Goodall, for example compares the Beatles and Mozart.
  • 6. Intro to Popular Music Theory This approach has been criticised by some for neglecting the ‘performative’ and ‘improvisational’ qualities of popular music. Jazz Improvisation Kiss
  • 7. Intro to Popular Music Theory In Look! Hear! The uneasy relationship of music and television (2002) Simon Frith argues that the defining feature of popular music is its televisual aesthetic.
  • 8. Intro to Popular Music Theory The systematic and scientific study of society and societal behaviour. The other side of this are the approaches emanating from the social sciences, which are often labelled the ‘sociology of rock’. Simon Frith, The Sociology of Rock, 1978 Punk 77.
  • 9. Intro to Popular Music Theory Theorist have tended to focus on issues to do with audiences of popular music and the representation of performers. Age, Race Sex and Class
  • 10. Intro to Popular Music Theory Emanating from this is a school of Media and Cultural Theory known as ‘Madonna Studies’. Influenced by the ‘Queer Theory’ and the work of Foucault Madonna is seen as exemplifying Feminist critiques – particular those of Judith Butler. Madonna - Open Up Your heart
  • 11. Intro to Popular Music Theory “Is Madonna a glamorized sex doll or the queen of parodic critique?”. Pamela Robertson - Guilty Pleasures Feminist Camp from Mae West to Madonna (1996)
  • 12. Intro to Popular Music Theory Criticisms of this approach say that it ignores the musical and aesthetic qualities that make popular music distinct from other media texts. This raises the question have we come full circle?
  • 13. Popular Music & Social Class
  • 14. Popular Music and Postmodernism Postmodernism: Faith in grand narrative has collapsed (science, religion, history, progress) Identity is fluid – sense of self not fixed Consumerism is a creative endeavour in which the self is constructed. No distinction between the real and the simulated. Convergence of Information Technology and Society. One of the key theoretical issues in popular music studies is that of post-modernism.
  • 15. Popular Music and Postmodernism Records: the ultimate simulacrums? Some argue that musical recordings are the epitome of the post-modern text because they are copies without originals (simulacrums). 1930s Recording Studio:Postmodern? CDS: Less authentic than vinyl?
  • 16. Popular Music and Postmodernism The music video re-enforces this in its depiction of inauthentic performances and abstract visuals. Queen Robert Palmer
  • 17. Popular Music and Postmodernism Others have tried to identify key moments in the history of popular music when it seemed to embody post-modern cultural practice e.g. the advent of sampling in the 1980s. S- Express
  • 18. Popular Music & Postmodernism
  • 19. Paul Willis A Social Theory for the Social Meaning of Pop (1973)
  • 20. Popular Music and Social Class Paul Willis views popular music culture as an authentic expression of working class youth.
  • 21. Popular Music and Social Class High Culture --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- - Low Culture Willis challenges received thinking that certain art forms are more valid than others i.e. classical music.
  • 22. Popular Music and Social Class He views popular music as a new form of media literacy for groups traditionally marginalized.
  • 23. Popular Music and Social Class “(T)he vast majority of young people involved with pop music are working class, and share along with the rest of their class, an inability to articulate their meanings in an abstract verbal manner”. Willis, Paul. E, A Theory for the Social Meaning of Pop, journal (Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies, Birmingham), p.3. Is abstract verbal communication important in pop music? Think of well known songs that actually use very simplistic words or indeed nonsense words or phrases. The Beatles Oasis
  • 24. Popular Music and Social Class Criticism: This is a rather sentimental and some might say patronising view of audiences. Also ignores the middle class articulate demographic – many popular music stars, for example, are college graduates. Roxy Music David Bowie