Popular music is far more than just songs we listen to; its meanings are also in album covers, lyrics, subcultures, voices and video soundscapes. Like language these elements can be used to communicate complex cultural ideas, values, concepts and identities.

Analysing Popular Music is a lively look at the semiotic resources found in the sounds, visuals and words that comprise the ‘code book’ of popular music. It explains exactly how popular music comes to mean so much. Packed with examples, exercises and a glossary, this book provides the reader with the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their own analyses of songs, soundtracks, lyrics and album covers.

Written for students with no prior musical knowledge, Analysing Popular Music is the perfect toolkit for students in sociology, media and communication studies to analyze, understand, and celebrate, popular music.

Discourses of Popular Music

Discourses of popular music

A number of discourses dominate the way we think and talk about popular music. They shape how we assess what is good and bad music and what is meaningful and trivial music. They influence the way we think about our own musical tastes and knowledge and lead us to believe that these tell us something about ourselves and in turn that the tastes of others tell us something about them.

It is these discourses that tell us that a boy band does not produce music from the heart, whereas a blues artist does. In fact what we actually mean by such an evaluation is never clearly articulated. But nevertheless it can lead us to be less forthcoming in expressing ...

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