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*Nominated for the International Association for the Study of Popular Music Book Prize* Partly because they are the objects of such intense adulation by fans popular musicians remain strangely enigmatic figures, shrouded in mythology. This book looks beyond the myth and examines the diverse roles music makers have had to adopt in order to go about their work: designer, ventriloquist, star, delegate of the people. The musician is a divided subject and jack of all trades. However the story does not end here. Arguing against that strand in cultural studies which deconstructs all claims for authorship by the individual artist, Jason Toynbee suggests that creativity should be reconceived rather than abandoned. He argues that what is needed is a sense of 'the radius of creativity' within which musicians work, an approach that takes into account both the embedded collectivism of popular music practice and the institutional power of the music industries. Drawing on a wide range of theoretical positions, as well as examining musical texts from across the history of twentieth-century pop,this groundbreaking book develops a powerful case for the importance of production in contemporary culture. Students of cultural and media studies, music and the performing arts will find this book an invaluable resource.
The breadth and vitality of pop music are captured in a study that brings together examinations of pop music by pioneers in the study of pop music, pivotal critics, as well as musicians active in the riot grrl and rock scenes.
The term 'Popular Music' has traditionally denoted different things in France and Britain. In France, the very concept of 'popular' music has been fiercely debated and contested, whereas in Britain and more largely throughout what the French describe as the 'Anglo-saxon' world 'popular music' has been more readily accepted as a description of what people do as leisure or consume as part of the music industry, and as something that academics are legitimately entitled to study. French researchers have for some decades been keenly interested in reading British and American studies of popular culture and popular music and have often imported key concepts and methodologies into their own work on French music, but apart from the widespread use of elements of 'French theory' in British and American research, the 'Anglo-saxon' world has remained largely ignorant of particular traditions of the study of popular music in France and specific theoretical debates or organizational principles of the making and consuming of French musics. French, British and American research into popular music has thus coexisted – with considerable cross-fertilization – for many years, but the barriers of language and different academic traditions have made it hard for French and anglophone researchers to fully appreciate the ways in which popular music has developed in their respective countries and the perspectives on its study adopted by their colleagues. This volume provides a comparative and contrastive perspective on popular music and its study in France and the UK.
Every epoch bewilders those who live through it, but for Americans, the postwar era has been a time of breathtaking change and transition. With these comprehensive and engaging essays, this volume encourages readers to form a new perspective on a recent and highly debated period of American history. Contributors to this volume were chosen for their ability to conceive of topics in unconventional and provocative ways. Renowned scholars specializing in economics, foreign affairs, political science, and social and cultural history collectively reexamine the history of America since the end of World War II. Rather than divide this period into such traditional categories as "women," "television," and "politics," contributors take a cross-topical approach that emphasizes the interconnectedness of American life and society. Beginning with an analysis of cultural themes and ending with a discussion of evolving and expanding political and corporate institutions, these essays address changes in America's response to the outside world; the merging of psychological states and social patterns in memorial culture, scandal culture, and consumer culture; the intersection of social practices and governmental policies; the effect of technological change on society and politics; and the intersection of changing belief systems and technological development, among other issues. Many had feared that Orwellian institutions would crush the individual in the postwar era, but a major theme of this book is the persistence of individuality and diversity. Trends toward institutional bigness and standardization have coexisted with and sometimes have given rise to a countervailing pattern of individualized expression and consumption. Today Americans are exposed to more kinds of images and music, choose from an infinite variety of products, and have a range of options in terms of social and sexual arrangements. In short, they enjoy more ways to express their individuality despite the rise of immense global corporations, and this history imaginatively explores every facet of this unique American experience.
Sounds French examines the history of popular music in France between the arrival of rock and roll in 1958 and the collapse of the first wave of punk in 1980, and the connections between musical genres and concepts of community in French society. During this period, scholars have tended to view the social upheavals associated with postwar reconstruction as part of debates concerning national identity in French culture and politics, a tendency that developed from political figures' and intellectuals' concerns with French national identity. In this book, author Jonathyne Briggs reorients the scholarship away from an exclusive focus on national identity and instead towards an investigation of other identities that develop as a result of the increased globalization of culture. Popular music, at once individual and communal, fixed and plastic, offers an illuminating window into such transformations in social structures through the ways in which musicians, musical consumers, and critical intermediaries re-imagined themselves as part of novel cultural communities, whether local, national, or supranational in nature. Briggs argues that national identity was but one of a panoply of identities in flux during the postwar period in France, demonstrating that the development of hybridized forms of popular music provided the French with a method for expressing and understanding that flux. Drawing upon an array of printed and aural sources, including music publications, sound recordings, record sleeves, biographies, and cultural criticism, Sounds French is an essential new look at popular music in postwar France.
"This extensively revised new edition of Understanding Popular Music Culture provides an accessible and comprehensive introduction to the production, distribution, consumption and meaning of popular music and examines the difficulties and debates which surround the analysis of popular culture and popular music." -back cover.

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