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.

Album Iconography: Postures, Objects, Settings

Album iconography: Postures, objects, settings

Artists need to tell us about themselves, about who they are, their meaning as an act and how to understand their music, not just through the kinds of sounds they make, but also through the way they look and move, through the photographs in which we see them and the art work they use on record sleeves. We are generally able to hazard a guess at what a band will sound like, through a record sleeve, or a publicity shot. In the last chapter we looked at our repertoire of discourses about what we think music is and the way that the meaning it has for us is not so much about the sounds themselves but ...

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