The SAGE Handbook of Popular Music


Edited by: Andy Bennett & Steve Waksman

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    Part VII: MEDIA  



  • Copyright


    Our deepest gratitude goes to our contributors, all thirty-six of them. It was up to us to come up with a framework that represented some of the richness and sophistication of popular music studies as a field, but our framework was a faint sketch on an otherwise blank canvas. The individual contributors took our instructions and ran with them, working within the terms we provided but interpreting them in ways that were always illuminating and sometimes surprising. It is on the strength of their work that this book has the breadth and depth it has, and emerges as a fully fleshed out portrait of the state of popular music studies in 2015.

    We thank Chris Rojek at SAGE for inviting us to edit this collection. Chris and his colleague at SAGE, Gemma Shields, have shown great patience for a long and sometimes trying process of putting this book together. Their unstinting support was essential for helping us to get to the finish line. Finally we thank those many scholarly groups throughout the world who continue to promote popular music studies and demonstrate its significance for our understanding of musical and cultural practice in local and global contexts.

    Notes on the Editors and Contributors

    The Editors

    Andy Bennett is Professor of Cultural Sociology and Director of the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia. He has authored and edited numerous books including Popular Music and Youth Culture (Palgrave Macmillan, 2000), Cultures of Popular Music (Open University Press, 2001), Remembering Woodstock (Ashgate, 2004), Music Scenes (Vanderbilt University Press, 2004) with Richard A. Peterson and Music, Style and Aging (Berg, 2012) with Paul Hodgkinson. Bennett was lead Chief Investigator on a three-year, five-country project funded by the Australian Research Council entitled Popular Music and Cultural Memory (DP1092910). He is also a Faculty Fellow of the Center for Cultural Sociology at Yale University.

    Steve Waksman is Professor of Music and American Studies at Smith College, Massachusetts, USA. His works include the books Instruments of Desire: The Electric Guitar and the Shaping of Musical Experience (Harvard University Press, 1999), and This Ain't the Summer of Love: Conflict and Crossover in Heavy Metal and Punk (University of California Press, 2009), the latter of which was awarded the 2010 Woody Guthrie Award for best scholarly book on popular music by the US chapter of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. With Reebee Garofalo he co-authored the sixth edition of Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the U.S.A. (Pearson, 2013). His essays have appeared in Guitar Cultures, The Cambridge Companion to the Guitar, Listen Again: A Momentary History of Pop and Metal Rules the Globe: Heavy Metal Music Around the World. Currently he is researching a book on the cultural history of live music and performance in the US, tentatively titled Live Music in America: A History, 1850–2000.

    The Contributors

    Tim J. Anderson is an Associate Professor of Communication and Theatre Arts at Old Dominion University, Virginia, USA, where he studies the multiple cultural and material practices that make music popular. He has published numerous book chapters, refereed journal articles and two monographs: Making Easy Listening: Material Culture and Postwar American Recording (University of Minnesota Press, 2006) and Popular Music in a Digital Music Economy: Problems and Practices for an Emerging Service Industry (Routledge, 2014). His latest research project focuses on recordings, musicians, listeners and the public sphere.

    Philip Auslander is a Professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He teaches in the areas of Performance Studies, Media Studies and Music. His most recent books are the second edition of Liveness: Performance in a Mediatized Culture (Routledge, 2008) and Performing Glam Rock: Gender and Theatricality in Popular Music (Michigan, 2006). In addition to his work on performance he writes regularly on the visual arts, including reviews for ArtForum International and other publications and catalog essays for museums and galleries in the US, the UK and Europe. He is also the founding editor of The Art Section: An Online Journal of Art and Cultural Commentary and a working film and television actor.

    David Brackett teaches in the Department of Music Research in the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, Quebec, Canada. His publications include Interpreting Popular Music (Cambridge University Press, 1995; reprint University of California Press, 2000) and The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader: Histories and Debates, Third Edition (Oxford University Press, 2013). His current work focuses on genre as the locus for the circulation of social meaning in twentieth and twenty-first century music. He is currently completing a book on the topic, Categorizing Sound: A Generic History of Popular Music, which will be published by the University of California Press.

    Matt Brennan is a Chancellor's Fellow of Music at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He is the co-author (with Simon Frith, Martin Cloonan and Emma Webster) of The History of Live Music in Britain, Volume I: 1950–1967 (Ashgate, 2013), the first of a three-volume series. He has published research on the history of jazz and rock journalism, live music, the Musicians’ Union and cultural policy, with his work appearing in the journals Cultural Trends, Popular Music, Popular Music and Society, Popular Music History and Jazz Research Journal.

    Andy R. Brown is Senior Lecturer in Media Communications at Bath Spa University, Bath, UK. He has published research on heavy metal in The Post-Subcultures Reader (2003), Youth Cultures: Scenes, Subcultures and Tribes (2007), Mapping the Magazine (2008), Heavy Fundametalisms: Music, Metal and Politics (2009), The Metal Void: First Gatherings (2010) and Can I Play with Madness? Metal, Dissonance, Madness and Alienation (2011); the special double-issue of the journal Popular Music History on ‘Heavy Metal: Controversies and Countercultures’ (2011) and subsequent book (2013). He co-edited a special issue of the Journal for Cultural Research on ‘Metal Studies? Cultural Research in the Heavy Metal Scene’ (July 2011) and the e-book collection, Heavy Metal Generations (2012), with Kevin Fellezs.

    Kevin Dawe is Professor of Ethnomusicology and Head of the School of Music and Fine Art at the University of Kent, UK. He is an ethnomusicologist with interests in the anthropology of sound and music, musical instruments (and related arts and crafts), ecomusicology and acoustic ecology, island and maritime cultures, popular music, and music, health and wellbeing. He has conducted field research in Greece, Turkey, Spain, Africa, Papua New Guinea and the UK. His publications include the single-authored books The New Guitarscape (Ashgate, 2010) and Music and Musicians in Crete (Scarecrow Press, 2007).

    Joanna Demers is Associate Professor of Musicology at University of Southern California's Thornton School of Music, California, USA, where she teaches courses on popular and avant-garde music since 1945. She has published books on electronica aesthetics (Listening Through the Noise: The Aesthetics of Experimental Electronic Music, Oxford University Press, 2010) and intellectual property's relationship to music (Steal This Music: How Intellectual Property Law Affects Musical Creativity, University of Georgia Press, 2006).

    Sherril Dodds is Professor and Chair of the Dance Department at Temple University, Philadelphia, USA. She has published two monographs, Dance on Screen: Genres and Media from Hollywood to Experimental Art (Palgrave, 2001) and Dancing on the Canon: Embodiments of Value in Popular Dance (Palgrave, 2011), and has co-edited an anthology, Bodies of Sound (Ashgate, 2014) with Professor Susan Cook. She is a founder member of the UK PoP MOVES research group and initiated the SDHS Popular, Social and Vernacular Dance Working Group.

    Peter Doyle lectures in Media Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. His publications include Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900–1960 (Wesleyan, 2005) and two collections of forensic photography, Crooks Like Us (Historic House Trust of New South Wales, 2007) and City of Shadows (Historic House Trust of New South Wales, 2005). He is also the author of the crime novels, Get Rich Quick (Verse Chorus Press, 2005) and The Devil's Jump (Verse Chorus Press, 2009). A new novel, The Big Whatever, will be published by Verse Chorus Press in 2015.

    Patrick Feaster received his doctorate in Folklore and Ethnomusicology in 2007 from Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana, USA, where he works as Media Preservation Specialist for the Media Digitization and Preservation Initiative. A three-time Grammy nominee, co-founder of and current President of the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, he has been actively involved in locating, making audible and contextualizing many of the world's oldest sound recordings.

    Christine Feldman-Barrett is a Lecturer in Sociology at Griffith University, Australia. She earned a PhD in Communication and Cultural Studies from the University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, and was a Fulbright scholar at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Her first book was ‘We are the Mods': A Transnational History of a Youth Subculture (Peter Lang, 2009). Her scholarship often examines youth culture and popular music from a historical perspective.

    Reebee Garofalo is Professor Emeritus at UMass Boston, Massachusetts, USA, where he taught for 33 years. His most recent book (co-authored with Steve Waksman) is Rockin’ Out: Popular Music in the USA (Pearson, 2014). Garofalo has been active in promoting Popular Music Studies internationally as a member of the Executive Committee and past Chairperson of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music-US, and an editor of several popular music journals, including the Journal of Popular Music Studies. At the local level, he serves on the organizing committee for the annual HONK! Festival of Activist Street Bands. For relaxation, he enjoys drumming and singing with the Blue Suede Boppers, a 1950s rock ‘n’ roll band and the Second Line Social Aid and Pleasure Society Brass Band, an activist New Orleans-style brass band.

    Ross Haenfler is an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Mississippi, USA. He is the author of Straight Edge: Clean Living Youth, Hardcore Punk, and Social Change (Rutgers University Press, 2006) and Subcultures: The Basics (Routledge, 2014). Ross has published a variety of articles in the areas of social movements, subcultures and gender. He currently studies lifestyle movements such as voluntary simplicity and virginity pledgers and how participants in youth cultures transition to adulthood. An award-winning teacher, his courses include social movements, deviance and youth subcultures, social theory, and men and masculinities.

    Scott Henderson is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film at Brock University, Ontario, Canada. His research focuses on issues of identity and representation in popular culture and he is currently investigating the changing nature of music scenes within post-industrial cities, including St Etienne, France, Hamilton, Ontario, and Glasgow, Scotland. He has published work on Canadian film and television, youth culture, British cinema and Canadian radio policy.

    Anahid Kassabian is the James and Constance Alsop Chair of Music at the Institute of Popular Music and the School of Music at the University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK. She is the author of Ubiquitous Listening: Affect, Attention, and Distributed Subjectivity (University of California Press, 2013) and Hearing Film: Tracking Identifications in Contemporary Hollywood Film Music (Routledge, 2000). Kassabian has co-edited two volumes, Ubiquitous Musics: The Everyday Sounds We Don't Always Notice (Ashgate, 2013) and Keeping Score: Music, Disciplinarity, Culture (University of Virginia Press, 1997). A past editor of the Journal of Popular Music Studies and Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, she is also past Chair of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM).

    Keir Keightley is Associate Professor of Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, in London, Ontario, Canada, where he teaches in the MA in Popular Music and Culture. His research has appeared in journals such as Popular Music, Media Culture and Society, Journal of Popular Music Studies, and Modernism/modernity, and in edited collections including The Cambridge Companion to Pop and Rock, Movie Music: The Film Reader and Migrating Music.

    Serge Lacasse is full Professor of Musicology, with a specialism in popular music, at the Faculty of Music, Université Laval in Quebec City, Canada. He heads both the Laval site of the Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique ( and the Laboratoire audionumérique de recherche et de création ( Favouring an interdisciplinary approach his research projects mostly deal with the study and practice of recorded popular music. He recently co-authored (with Sophie Stévance) Les enjeux de la recherche-création en musique (PUL, 2013) and co-edited Quand la musique prend corps (PUM, 2014) with Monique Desroches and Sophie Stévance.

    Paul Long is Professor of Media and Cultural History in the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. He is the author of Only in the Common People: The Aesthetics of Class in Post-War Britain (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008). His writing on popular music includes studies of BBC4's Britannia series, Tony Palmer's All You Need is Love (both with Tim Wall) as well as the role of student unions in popular music culture. He is currently leading research into community engagements with culture as part of the AHRC-funded project ‘Cultural Intermediation and the Creative Economy'.

    Kembrew McLeod is a writer, filmmaker and Professor of Communication studies at the University of Iowa, USA. He has published and produced several books and documentaries about music, popular culture, and copyright law. His 2007 book, Freedom of Expression® (University of Minnesota Press, 2007), received the American Library Association's Oboler book award. McLeod's co-produced documentary Copyright Criminals aired in 2010 on PBS's Emmy Award-winning series Independent Lens, and his writing has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Village Voice, SPIN and Rolling Stone.

    Tony Mitchell is an Honorary Research Associate in Cultural Studies and Popular Music at the University of Technology, Sydney, Australia. He is the author of Dario Fo: People's Court Jester (Methuen, 1999), Popular Music and Local Identity: Pop, Rock and Rap in Europe and Oceania (University of Leicester Press, 1996) and the editor of Global Noise: Rap and Hip Hop Outside the USA (Wesleyan University Press, 2001). He co-edited Sounds of Then, Sounds of Now: Popular Music in Australia (Australian Clearing House for Youth Studies, 2008), North Meets South: Popular Music in Aotearoa/New Zealand, (Perfect Beat, 1994) and Home, Land and Sea: Situating Popular Music in Aotearoa New Zealand (Pearson Education, 2011).

    Devon Powers is Associate Professor of Communication, Drexel University, Philadelphia, USA. She is the author of Writing the Record: The Village Voice and the Birth of Rock Criticism (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013), and editor of Blowing Up the Brand: Critical Perspectives on Promotional Culture (Peter Lang, 2010) with Melissa Aronczyk. Her research explores historical and contemporary consumer culture, especially popular music, and the dynamics of cultural intermediation, circulation and promotion. She has published in the Journal of Consumer Culture, Critical Studies in Media Communication, Popular Music and Society and the International Journal of Communication.

    Nick Prior is Senior Lecturer and current Head of Subject in Sociology at the University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UK. He is author of various articles in the sociology of music and music technology, including on iPod use, laptops in music production, music scenes and the cultural sociology of Pierre Bourdieu. He is currently researching the nature of popular music practices in Iceland and digital mediations of the voice.

    Motti Regev is Professor of Sociology and Cultural Studies at the Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel, where he is Head of the Masters Program in Cultural Studies. He is a sociologist of culture and the arts, whose major interest is in popular music studies. His books include Pop-Rock Music: Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism in Late Modernity (Polity Press, 2013), Sociology of Culture: A General Introduction (The Open University of Israel, 2011) and Popular Music and National Culture in Israel (University of California Press, 2004) co-authored with Edwin Seroussi.

    Gilbert B. Rodman is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at the University of Minnesota, Minnesota, USA. His publications include Elvis After Elvis: The Posthumous Career of a Living Legend (Routledge, 1996), Race in Cyberspace (Routledge, 2000), The Race and Media Reader (Routledge, 2014) and Why Cultural Studies? (Wiley-Blackwell, 2015). He is currently the Chair of the Association for Cultural Studies, and the founder/manager of CULTSTUD-L, the longest-running international cultural studies listserv in the world.

    David R. Shumway is Professor of English, and Literary and Cultural Studies at Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, USA, where he has taught courses in film, literature and Cultural Studies since 1985. He is founding Director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon, and is Treasurer of the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. He has served as the first President of the Cultural Studies Association and he was also President of the Midwest Modern Language Association. He has written Michel Foucault (Twayne Publishers, 1989), Creating American Civilization: A Genealogy of American Literature as an Academic Discipline (University of Minnesota Press, 1994), Modern Love: Romance, Intimacy, and the Marriage Crisis (New York University Press, 2003), John Sayles (University of Illinois Press, 2012) and Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen (John Hopkins University Press, 2014). He has co-edited Knowledges: Critical and Historical Studies in Disciplinarity (University of Virginia Press, 1993), Making and Selling Culture (Wesleyan, 1996) and Disciplining English (State University of New York Press, 2002). He is working on a book on realism across media.

    Aram Sinnreich is Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University's School of Communication and Information, New Jersey, USA. He is the author of two books, Mashed Up: Music, Technology and the Rise of Configurable Culture (University of Massachusetts Press, 2010) and The Piracy Crusade: How the Music Industry's War on Sharing Destroys Markets and Erodes Civil Liberties (University of Massachusetts Press, 2013). He is also a bassist and composer who has played with a variety of artists including Ari-Up of The Slits and Agent 99 (Shanachie Records), as well as his own projects, including progressive soul band Brave New Girl and reggae collective Dubistry.

    C. Riley Snorton is Assistant Professor of Black Queer Studies in the departments of Africana Studies and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Cornell University, New York, USA. Snorton's first book, Nobody is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low (University of Minnesota Press, 2014), traces the emergence and circulation of the down low in news and popular culture. He is currently completing a second project titled, Black on Both Sides: Race and the Remaking of Trans History, which examines the transitive relationship between blackness and transness across the long twentieth century.

    Matt Stahl is Associate Professor of Information and Media Studies at the University of Western Ontario, Canada, where he is also a member of the Digital Labour Research Group. Stahl's monograph, Unfree Masters: Recording Artists and the Politics of Work (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the representation and regulation of recording artists’ labor, professionalization, employment contracts and intellectual property. His current research concerns pre-1972 record royalties and the pursuit by retirement age R&B performers of ‘royalty reform’ in the 1980s and 1990s. Past publications include examinations of the intersection of labour and intellectual property in the Hollywood media guilds, the social relations of a San Francisco indie rock scene, changes to recording contracts under digitalization of the entertainment industry, contrasting conceptions of creative cultural labor, and cartoon and boy bands.

    Graham St John is a Cultural Anthropologist of Transnational Event Cultures and an Adjunct Research Fellow of the Griffith Centre for Cultural Research, Griffith University, Australia. He is author of six books, including Global Tribe: Technology, Spirituality and Psytrance (Equinox, 2012), Technomad: Global Raving Countercultures (Equinox, 2009), and the edited volumes The Local Scenes and Global Culture of Psytrance (Routledge, 2010), Victor Turner and Contemporary Cultural Performance (Berghahn, 2008), Rave Culture and Religion (Routledge, 2004), and FreeNRG: Notes From the Edge of the Dance Floor (Common Ground, 2001). He is executive editor of Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture.

    Jon Stratton is Professor of Cultural Studies at Curtin University, Australia. Jon has published widely on Jewish Studies, Australian Studies, Popular Music Studies and various aspects of cultural studies. He has also published on race, refugees and multiculturalism. Jon's most recent books are Uncertain Lives: Culture, Race and Neoliberalism in Australia (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2011), Britpop and the English Music Tradition (Ashgate, 2010), edited with Andy Bennett, and Jews, Race and Popular Music (Ashgate, 2009). In 2014, he published When Music Migrates: Crossing British and European Racial Faultlines 1945–2010 (Ashgate, 2014).

    Catherine Strong is Lecturer in Sociology at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Grunge: Music and Memory (Ashgate, 2011) and co-editor of Death and the Rock Star (Ashgate, 2015). Her research interests include cultural memory, gender and popular culture.

    Timothy D. Taylor is a Professor in the Department of Ethnomusicology at the University of California, Los Angeles, USA. He is the author of Global Pop: World Music, World Markets (Routledge, 1997), Strange Sounds: Music, Technology and Culture (Routledge, 2001), Beyond Exoticism: Western Music and the World (Duke, 2007), The Sounds of Capitalism: Advertising, Music, and the Conquest of Culture (Chicago, 2012), and co-editor, with Mark Katz and Tony Grajeda, of Music, Sound, and Technology in America: A Documentary History of Early Phonograph, Cinema, and Radio (Duke, 2012). He is currently completing a book about music in today's capitalism, to be published by the University of Chicago Press.

    Tim Wall is Professor of Radio and Popular Music Studies and Director of the Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research at Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK. He is the author of Studying Popular Music Culture (SAGE, 2013), and his published work ranges widely, recently including work on music radio online, punk fanzines, the transistor radio, personal music listening, popular music on television, television music histories, jazz collectives, Duke Ellington on the radio, and The X Factor. He collaborates regularly with Paul Long on studies of popular music and the media.

    Simon Warner is a Lecturer, writer and broadcaster on Popular Music topics who teaches in the School of Music at the University of Leeds, UK. A live rock reviewer with The Guardian from 1992–95, he was a columnist for the webzine Pop Matters from 2000–05. His principal research interests lie in the relationship between Anglo-American popular music and the Beat Generation writers – Kerouac, Ginsberg and Burroughs. His most recent book is Text and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013).

    Jacqueline Warwick is Associate Professor of Musicology at the Fountain School of Performing Arts, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. She is the author of Girl Groups, Girl Culture: Popular Music and Identity in the 1960s (Routledge, 2007), and co-editor (with Steven Baur and Raymond Knapp) of Musicological Identities: Essays in Honor of Susan McClary (Ashgate, 2008). She was senior editor, responsible for entries on popular music since 1945, for the Grove Dictionary of American Music (Oxford, 2013).

    Sheila Whiteley is Professor Emeritus at the University of Salford, UK and a Research Fellow at the Bader International Study Centre, Queen's University, Canada. She is author of Women and Popular Music: Popular Music and Gender (Routledge, 2000) and Too Much Too Young: Popular Music, Age and Identity (Routledge, 2005), editor of Sexing the Groove: Popular Music and Gender (Routledge, 1996) and co-editor of Queering the Popular Pitch (2006) with Jennifer Rycenga, and has contributed to Britpop and the English Music Tradition (Ashgate, 2010) and Redefining the Mainstream (Routledge, 2013). She is currently co-editing the Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality (Oxford University Press) with Shara Rambarran.


    Despite its status as a relatively recent academic field of research, popular music studies has made significant leaps over the last thirty years, both in terms of the breadth of its focus and institutional support for its core concerns. The foundations of popular music studies were established over a period of ten years between the late 1960s and the late 1970s, punctuated at intervals by the publication of highly influential books such as Dave Laing's (1969) The Sound of Our Time, R. Serge Denisoff and Richard A. Peterson's (eds.) (1972) The Sounds of Social Change, Wilfred Mellers's (1973) Twilight of the Gods and Simon Frith's (1978) The Sociology of Rock (republished in 1981 as Sound Effects). As the scholars associated with these titles collectively illustrate, from its very beginnings, the academic study of popular music was a multi-disciplinary affair and this is something that has remained a centrally defining feature.

    Complementing the evolution of popular music studies in this formative period was the stimulus provided by emergent forms of music journalism from 1966 onward. As rock grew to a position of dominance in the wider field of Anglo-American popular music production during the 1960s its economic rise was accompanied by a new set of journalistic outlets, designed to explain its cultural and political impact. In the UK, long-standing music publications such as Melody Maker (founded in 1926) and New Musical Express (founded in 1952) turned their attention to ‘rock’ with new focus during the early and mid-1960s, and by the early 1970s were joined by other, newer publications such as Sounds and Let It Rock, which first appeared in 1970 and 1972, respectively, and were dedicated to rock-related news and criticism. Meanwhile in the US, Crawdaddy (founded in 1966) and Rolling Stone (founded in 1967) led the way towards a burgeoning rock press that encouraged readers to invest the music with deep cultural importance and to take an interest in the historical roots of rock as well as its contemporary currents. Non-academic histories of rock such as Charlie Gillett's (1983 [1970]) The Sound of the City and Greil Marcus's (1975) Mystery Train provided models for the writing of rock history that academic scholars of rock and pop would seek both to emulate and to critique; and the dialogue between academic and journalistic writing on popular music has remained ongoing, with many key figures – including Simon Frith, the British sociologist who did much to establish the legitimacy of popular music studies as a field – working between the two spheres.

    The fundamental eclecticism of method and subject matter that infused popular music studies in its early evolution was integral to the formation of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music (IASPM) in 1981. IASPM brought together scholars from Europe, the UK, Australia, Asia and the US, engaged in research on various aspects of popular music production, performance and reception from myriad disciplinary perspectives including: musicology and ethnomusicology; media and cultural studies; social anthropology; sociology; law; journalism; and historical studies. The first issue of Review of Popular Music (or RPM), the newsletter of IASPM, published in 1982, featured a statement of purpose by musicologist Philip Tagg that foregrounded interdisciplinarity as a core feature of the organization and an essential quality of popular music scholarship. According to Tagg (1982), the division of academic inquiry into discrete disciplinary specializations mirrored the division of labour that characterized industrial societies more generally, and inhibited a fuller grasp of the social significance of popular music as a facet of modern life (p. 1). Only cooperation between those working across disciplines could allow understanding of how popular music aesthetics joined with its sociological or psychological effects and so promote a suitably complex analysis of popular music as a facet of ‘human activity and communication'.

    Since the inception of IASPM, the international profile of popular music studies has been significantly strengthened by the introduction of dedicated academic journals, among them Popular Music & Society (US, founded 1971), Popular Music (UK, founded 1981), Journal of Popular Music Studies (US, founded 1988), Perfect Beat (Australia, founded 1992) and Volume! (France, founded 2002); and the establishment of university-based popular music research centres, notably the Institute for Popular Music at Liverpool University in the UK (founded in 1987). In the context of teaching and learning, popular music studies has also become increasingly prominent with higher education institutions (and increasingly schools and colleges) offering theory and practice-based courses and degree options in popular music. A small but growing number of research collections serve popular music scholars, with the UK's National Sound Archive (based at the British Library in London), the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Library and Archives and the Bowling Green State University Music Library in the US housing especially noteworthy resources. Museum exhibits or whole museums dedicated to popular music have also proliferated in recent decades, a sign that popular music history and heritage has assumed unprecedented visibility and legitimacy as markers of local and national identity (see, for example, Leonard, 2010).

    The present volume provides a survey of the field of popular music studies at a moment when it has generated a considerable academic literature, has achieved substantial institutional support and stands at the intersection of a number of important scholarly currents. This Handbook is far from the first such overview, and we have not sought to reproduce the work done by valuable previous collections including Frith and Goodwin (eds.), On Record: Rock, Pop, and the Written Word (1990); Frith, Straw and Street (eds.), The Cambridge Companion to Rock and Pop (2001); Hesmondhalgh and Negus (eds.), Popular Music Studies (2002); and Scott (ed.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Popular Musicology (2009).

    We have organized this collection with two primary goals in mind. Firstly, the chapters included herein present something of a ‘state of the field’ report about popular music studies, with an emphasis on emergent areas of inquiry and key issues such as the impact of globalization and new technologies. Secondly, this book should serve as a primer for those newly initiated to the field, treating popular music from a range of perspectives – as a facet of the music industry, as a text to be analysed formally, as a phenomenon shaped by a wide range of media and technological formations, as a locus for identity formation and contestation – that are representative of the richness of the subject matter and the multi-dimensional character of popular music studies.

    Main Currents: Cultural Studies and New Musicology

    For all its interdisciplinary breadth, the crystallization of popular music studies as an emergent field in the 1980s and 1990s owed a debt primarily to two main currents of academic thought. The first was the impact of cultural studies, most influentially that devised through the Birmingham Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS), founded in Birmingham, UK, in 1964. The history of the Birmingham School and its impact has been recounted many times and Gilbert Rodman's chapter in this Handbook provides an account of how cultural studies has mattered to the study of popular music. Still, it is hard to overstate the importance of the scholarly blueprint offered by Stuart Hall, Dick Hebdige, Angela McRobbie, Paul Gilroy and others who taught or studied at the CCCS. Hebdige's (1979) Subculture has especially continued to loom large over the field of popular music studies and subcultural studies remains a primary underpinning to much popular music research, even as the concept of ‘subcultures’ has been subject to repeated challenge (see, for example, McRobbie, 1990; Clarke, 1990; Harris, 1992; Bennett, 1999). The enduring relevance of Hebdige's work stems from a variety of factors: a theoretical method that combines the semiotic approach of Roland Barthes with a critique of ideology drawn from Marxist thinkers Antonio Gramsci and Louis Althusser; an analytic model that extends from the established, class-based focus of Marxist cultural studies to consider race as an equally critical social category; and a compelling account of modern industrial consumer societies that locates the capacity for resistance to domination in the creative appropriation of style, located in music, fashion and other mass cultural forms. Perhaps as important as the particulars of his argument was the basic fact that Hebdige offered a timely analysis of a phenomenon – punk – that in itself stimulated a renewed impulse to think critically about popular music and its social effects, and would along with rap and hip hop become an area of popular music that proved to generate a rich subfield unto itself.

    Building upon the methods of cultural studies, popular music studies developed a substantial and ongoing concern with questions of culture, politics and identity. Through comprehensive analysis of music audiences, employing concepts of scene, community and subculture among others, popular music scholars have produced rich data on the meanings of popular music for audiences and the significance of particular music artists in the everyday lives of fans (see, for example, Chambers, 1985; Cavicchi, 1998; Bennett and Peterson, 2004). Particularly in relation to youth, the findings of popular music scholarship on the audience's highly diverse, inter-textual relationship with music and related cultural resources such as fashion and literature has provided a foil to the moral panic-making machinery that has been seen to spin into action at regular intervals since the emergence of music- and style-based youth cultures during the early 1950s (see, for example, Cohen, 1987; Thornton, 1994). In contrast to representations of the relationship between popular music and youth in largely pathological terms, popular music studies has offered counter-interpretations that explore the value of music in relation to the formation of identity and creation of bonds between young people in both physical and, increasingly, online spaces.

    A rather different trajectory was put into place through the work of the second main current that fed into the growth of popular music studies, the new musicology. To a significant extent the turn taken by musicological scholars such as Joseph Kerman, Rose Rosengard Subotnick, Susan McClary, Richard Leppert, Ruth Solie and others starting in the late 1970s was tangential to popular music studies. For all that they embraced the paradigms of Foucault, Kristeva and Derrida, their precursors such as Adorno and Benjamin, and other theorists who represent the more ‘Continental’ wing of cultural studies – as opposed to the British wing discussed above – many of these scholars continued to devote their attention to music of the Western European classical tradition. Yet their rejection of the ideology of autonomous musical art that had dominated academic musicology, and accompanying recognition that music was shaped as much by questions of power and cultural representation as any other expressive form, was a necessary precondition for taking popular music more seriously as a subject of academic study. Previously it was all too easy to dismiss popular music for its ‘impurity', for the degree to which it was implicated in economic and social processes and so lacked aesthetic content of sufficient complexity to warrant careful analysis. However, if scholars recognized that classical music was comparably implicated in these processes, the grounds according to which popular music was deemed unworthy of consideration became increasingly untenable.

    Three books can be used to trace the growing engagement with popular music among academic musicologists during the late 1980s and early 1990s. McClary and Leppert's (1987) Music and Society was a groundbreaking collection that purposefully included essays on Bach and Chopin alongside pieces that focused squarely on popular music, notably John Shepherd's ‘Music and Male Hegemony’ and Simon Frith's ‘Towards an Aesthetic of Popular Music', in the latter of which Frith outlined the concerns that would later manifest in his work, Performing Rites (1996). In their introduction to the volume, Leppert and McClary call for a ‘crossover of methods’ analogous to the call for interdisciplinary work made by Philip Tagg upon the founding of IASPM five years earlier, through which ‘the aesthetic dimension of popular music becomes visible at the same time that the social and political functions of “serious” music become unavoidable’ (p. xvi). Four years later, McClary's (1991) Feminine Endings further pursued this effort to combine analysis of the ‘serious’ and the ‘popular'. McClary's feminist reinterpretation of the Western musical tradition laid repeated emphasis upon the ideological character of musical form and acknowledged that in the face of the patriarchal assumptions that continued to shape Western music, we might need to turn to popular artists like Madonna to find new ways forward. Robert Walser's (1993) Running with the Devil marked the culmination of these developments. Taking as his subject one of the most routinely castigated popular music genres – heavy metal – Walser brought an unusual level of analytical detail to a popular music form. At the same time he showed himself to be well versed in the methodological moves of cultural studies, and so presented a model for critical cultural interpretation of popular music that remained grounded in musicological method but was alert to the ways in which music might serve as an instrument of power.

    Popular Music and Globalization

    Concerned from an early stage in its development with looking at popular music as a global phenomenon, popular music studies has, in an overall sense, produced a compelling narrative of popular music's position within a global-local nexus of production, performance and reception. This hallmark of the popular music studies approach was inspired to some degree by the music journalism of the late 1960s and early 1970s (see Shuker, 2001; see also above) which remained narrowly focused around the Anglo-American dimensions of popular music, effectively sidelining issues of cultural imperialism (see Tomlinson, 1991), globalization and core-periphery relationships in relation to the cultural production and reception of popular music. In applying a global focus, popular music scholars have sought to redress this imbalance through supplying ‘missing histories’ of popular music production, performance and reception in South America, the Middle East, Africa, South East Asia and Oceania. For example, Motti Regev (whose work is included in this volume) has produced highly compelling accounts of popular music's diverse trajectories in Israel, where Israeli rock, which as its name suggests takes inspiration from Anglo-American influences, is placed in the local musical soundscape alongside musica mizrakit, a style that draws upon traditional Mediterranean and Middle Eastern musics (see Regev, 1996). Similarly, Tony Mitchell (1996, 2001), another contributor to this book, has looked extensively at how rap and hip hop, a musical style and associated set of cultural practices with roots in the US, has been adopted and adapted by youth in different parts of the world, taking on distinctively localized characteristics. Similarly, the work of Jan Fairley has been of significance in providing perspectives on popular music's cultural significance in South America (see the recent collection of Fairley's work edited by Frith, Rijven and Christie, 2014).

    Within this global context, there has also been extensive study of popular music's contradictory status as an object of mass cultural production with multiple layers of symbolic and aesthetic meaning in everyday contexts. From the foundational work of Simon Frith (1981; 1987) to later contributions from Keith Negus (1992) and Robert Burnett (1996), the complexity of the music industry as an arm of late capitalist production engaged in the packaging of popular music and the ‘selling of high seriousness’ (Frith and Horne, 1987) has been a key contribution of popular music studies. At the same time, however, scholars have been alert to the fact that popular music and its spaces of production and consumption are as much a feature of the periphery as they are at the core of global popular cultures. Studies such as Wallis and Malm's (1984) Big Sounds from Small Peoples and Manuel's (1998) work on popular music in India have been important in demonstrating the extent to which popular music production and performance extend beyond the Anglo-American sphere. In more recent years the focus of such work has extended to Ho's (2003) study of the local popular music scene in Hong Kong and Crowdy's (2010) research on popular music production in Papua New Guinea, to offer but two of a multiplying set of examples. This focus on the relationship between the global and the local in popular music production, performance and reception has also produced some highly influential work on popular music's micro-social significance as a way of life in mundane everyday spaces, as illustrated by in-depth ethnographic studies such as Finnegan's (1989) The Hidden Musicians and Cohen's (1991) Rock Culture in Liverpool.

    Following upon the growing emphasis placed on ethnographic methods in popular music studies, much recent work on the global aspects of popular music production and consumption and the place of popular music in everyday life has been done from within the field of ethnomusicology. This ethnomusicological turn towards engagement with popular music – addressed at greater length by Kevin Dawe in his chapter of the Handbook – marks something of a paradigm shift akin to that addressed earlier in connection with the new musicology. Since its rise as a field in the mid-twentieth century, ethnomusicology had typically eschewed commercially produced popular music as subject matter, seeking instead to document varieties of musical practice that circulated less widely through channels of capitalist production. Yet the rise of a ‘world music’ market in the 1980s provoked ethnomusicologists to dedicate more scrutiny to the processes through which local sounds and cultures became subject to commodification (Feld, 1988; Meintjes, 1990). Building upon pioneering work by Charles Keil (1966, 1994), since the 1990s ethnographic study of popular music has grown to encompass work on a diverse range of genres and local contexts of musical practice and production including hip hop and noise music in Japan (Condry, 2006; Novak, 2013); recording studio practices in South Africa (Meintjes, 2003); salsa, banda and electronic dance music in various parts of Latin America (Waxer, 2002; Simonett, 2000; Madrid, 2008); and heavy metal considered as a global popular music genre in its own right (Wallach, Berger and Greene, 2011).

    Popular Music as History and Heritage

    In more recent years, there has been an increasing emphasis on the history and heritage of popular music. While such a focus has arguably been in place for a significantly longer period of time (see, for example, Friedlander, 1996; Johnson, 2006), the plethora of ways in which popular music is now presented as a historical artefact in both physical and on-line contexts has sparked a much greater interest among popular music scholars since the early 2000s. Again, this research has a much broader focus than Anglo-American rock and pop music. For example, a recent special edition of the International Journal of Heritage Studies features papers on British Bhangra (Khabra, 2014) together with accounts of popular music heritage initiatives in countries such as Austria (Reitsamer, 2014) and Slovenia (Zevnik, 2014). In addition to such case studies of specific examples of popular music heritage in particular spaces and places, other work has focused on the cultural processes that have been involved in the transformation and re-classification of popular music from a mass-produced aspect of late capitalist production to a cultural form deemed worthy of celebration and preservation as a form of cultural heritage (see, for example, Schmutz, 2005; Bennett, 2009). The emergence of the internet as an everyday media technology during the 1990s has produced other opportunities for the re-presentation of popular music as cultural heritage, as evidenced by the variety of websites established by popular music fans in celebration of particular artists, genres and eras of popular music (see Kibby, 2000; Bennett, 2002).

    For popular music studies this rise of interest in the value of popular music history has meant, in no small degree, that the field has found new avenues for gaining legitimization. Museums and other public or private agencies dedicated to popular music preservation have drawn significantly upon the knowledge developed by scholars of popular music and so have given the work of these scholars a wider hearing. Within this process, however, it remains a necessary task for popular music scholars not simply to assist with the task of preservation but to challenge some of the assumptions upon which the impulse to memorialize the past has been founded. The best historical work on popular music – a sample of which appears in this Handbook – has a distinctly revisionist cast akin to that surveyed by Shuker (2011), striving to ask new questions about how popular music has evolved and to shed light on historical subjects that have generally remained unknown or unrecognized for their significance. Elijah Wald's (2004, 2009) work offers one model of such historical inquiry. Whether challenging the grounds according to which the hallowed American blues artist Robert Johnson has been canonized or those according to which the infamous American jazz band leader Paul Whiteman has not gotten his due, Wald continually questions received narratives and sheds new light on what appear to be familiar subjects.

    Handbook: Structure and Format

    This Handbook comprises thirty-five specially commissioned chapters written by experts in specific fields of popular music studies. The chapters are clustered under nine main Part headings that correspond with major themes and issues pertinent to the current field of popular music studies. Part I focuses on theoretical and methodological approaches to popular music, covering ethnomusicology, sociology, cultural studies, musicology and archival research. Part II presents perspectives on the music industry and the commercial character of popular music, reflecting on the historical development of the music business, the function of intermediation, the nature of musical labour, and the uses of music in advertising. Part III concentrates on the historical study of popular music, with chapters dedicated to debates over the ‘industrial’ aspects of popular music, the evolution of music genres and the changing features of live music. Part IV examines the relationship between the global and the local in popular music through four specific case studies focusing on rap, dance, heavy metal and punk. Part V reflects on stardom and the star system, considering the historically unique qualities of rock stardom and the performative gestures that go into the making of stars, and offering chapters on the ways in which gender and race have informed the construction of stardom in popular music. Part VI focuses on the theme of body and identity, applying different perspectives that have been applied in such work, including gender and sexuality, race and ethnicity, body and movement, and listening and memory. Part VII presents an in-depth study of the various media forms that support the production, performance and consumption of popular music with chapters on the music press, television, cinema and the Internet. Part VIII studies the importance of technology in popular music, with chapters on the evolution and impact of sound recording, amplification and the rising ubiquity of music in everyday life. Finally, Part IX considers the changing conditions of the popular music economy in light of digital technologies, observing the shift in mode of production from albums to the collection of data, analysing the importance of musical copyright and changing standards concerning property, ownership and appropriation, and addressing the new systems of distribution made available through digital channels.

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