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Popular Music
Popular music

Elvis Costello once famously insisted that writing about music was like ‘dancing about architecture’ (Goddard, 2002: 9). His point is that words can never fully capture the electrifying rush and emotional punch that a great pop song can deliver. While a common objection among fans, journalists and performers is that attempts to analyse music often fail to grasp what makes the sound so important in the first place,1 explaining why popular music can have such a powerful impact in our daily lives is one of the central tasks of cultural analysis and one that has a rich theoretical legacy. A core theme in this critical literature on popular music is a tension between describing the music industry as a constraining, exploitative and ...

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