Interpreting Popular Music
David Brackett demonstrates that there is no one way of interpreting popular music but that different types of popular music use different types of rhetoric, refer to different arguments about musical complexity and familiarity, and draw upon different senses of history and tradition. He crosses the disciplines of cultural studies and music theory to consider how listeners evaluate popular songs and how they come to attribute a rich variety of meanings to them. Issues such as authorship, reception, musical codes, and different modes of representing and describing music are explored in the context of recordings made by Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Hank Williams, James Brown, and Elvis Costello. In analysing their music and lyrics, David Brackett shows how interpretations of songs develop in specific cultural and historical contexts.
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accents aesthetic African African-American music approach art music artists aspects audience authenticity band bass beat Beatles Billboard Billie Holiday Bing Crosby biographical charts connotations context country music create critical Crosby's recording cultural described Diamond Ring discourse discussion Downbeat effect Elvis Costello emphasize Ethnomusicology example figure Frith Gary Lewis genres Hank Williams harmonic Hey Good Lookin hillbilly Holiday's recording idea important instrumental interpretation James Brown jazz kind listener melodic metanarrative Middleton music analysis music industry musical code musicians musicology narrative notation notion performance persona phrase piece Pills and Soap pitch pop music popular music popular songs produce punk relationship repetition rhetorical rhythm rhythmic rock Rolling Stone sense Signifyin(g Signifying singer solo song's soul sound specific spectrum photo structure Studying Popular Music style Superbad teenybop texture timbre Tin Pan Alley transcription tunes University Press verses vocal voice words York