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Interpreting Popular Music - California Scholarship Online
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Interpreting Popular Music

David Brackett


There is a well-developed vocabulary for discussing classical music, but when it comes to popular music, how do we analyze its effects and its meaning? This book draws from the disciplines of cultural studies and music theory to demonstrate how listeners form opinions about popular songs, and how they come to attribute a rich variety of meanings to them. Exploring several genres of popular music through recordings made by Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Hank Williams, James Brown, and Elvis Costello, the book develops a set of tools for looking at both the formal and cultural dimensions of popula ... More

Keywords: popular music, cultural studies, music theory, listeners, popular songs, Billie Holiday, Bing Crosby, Hank Williams, James Brown, Elvis Costello

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2000 Print ISBN-13: 9780520225411
Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520225411.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Brackett, author