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Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture

Thom Swiss (Editor), Bruce Horner (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0-631-21264-5
274 pages
November 1999, ©1999, Wiley-Blackwell
Key Terms in Popular Music and Culture (0631212647) cover image


Original essays by leading scholars in the field of popular music studies map the competing perspectives on the key terms of contemporary debates on popular music and culture. Each essay describes the history of continuities and conflicts in a term's meaning, situating the writer's own position on the term in that history of debate.

Providing a invaluable overview of the current state of popular music discourse, the collection will be useful both to those new to the study of popular music and those already well-versed in popular music and cultural studies.

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Table of Contents


Notes on contributors.

Introduction: Putting It Into Words: Key Terms for Studying Popular Music; Bruce Horner (Drake University) and Thomas Swiss (Drake University).

Part I: Locating Popular Music in Culture:.

1. Ideology: Lucy Green (University of London).

2. Discourse: Bruce Horner (Drake University).

3. Histories: Gilbert Rodman (University of South Florida).

4. Institutions: David Sanjek (BMI Archives).

5. Politics: Robin Balliger (Stanford University).

6. Race: Russell Potter (Rhode Island College).

7. Gender: Holly Kruse (La Salle University).

8. Youth: Deena Weinstein (DePaul University).

Part II: Locating Culture in Popular Music.

9. Popular: Anahid Kassabian (Fordham University).

10. Music: David Brackett (SUNY Binghamton).

11. Form: Richard Middleton (University of Newcastle upon Tyne).

12. Text: John Shepherd (Carleton University).

13. Images: Cynthia Fuchs (George Mason University).

14. Performance: David Shumway (Carnegie Mellon University).

15. Authorship: Will Straw (McGill University).

16. Technology: Paul Theberge (Concordia University).

17. Business: Mark Fenster (Yale Law School) and Thomas Swiss (Drake University).

18. Scenes: Sara Cohen (University of Liverpool).


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Author Information

Bruce Horner has degrees in both music and English. His essays on song criticism have appeared in such journals as Mosaic, Writing on the Edge, and the Journal of Musicology. He is Associate Professor of English at Drake University, where he teaches courses on song criticism.

Thomas Swiss has had essays published in Popular Music, Postmodern Culture, New England Review, and The New York Times Book Review. His most recent books are Rough Cut, a collection of poems (1997), and the co-edited Mapping the Beat: Popular Music and Contemporary Theory (Blackwell, 1997). He teaches courses on music and contemporary culture at Drake University, where he is Center for the Humanities Professor.

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The Wiley Advantage

* Original essays by leading scholars in the field of popular music studies.
* Presents relation of cultural study terms (ideology, institutions, and gender) to popular music, as well as the relation of terms in popular music discourse (music, form, and performance) to culture.
* Maps the competing perspectives and debates on popular music and culture
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"The book features an excellent roster of authors and will make a valuable companion to popular-music studies, histories and surveys" CHOICE
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