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.

Sound Qualities: Arrangement and Rhythm

Sound Qualities: Arrangement and Rhythm

Sound qualities: Arrangement and rhythm

The previous chapter explained the way that pitch, pitch range and movement and the different notes on the scale all have meaning potential. These provided a system of choices through which artists can communicate that draw on a long-established cultural set of meanings. In different genres of music different choices are often made to connote attitudes such as indifference, as we saw in the Sex Pistols' ‘Anarchy in the UK’, optimism, as we saw in ‘Blueberry Hill’ and lack of energy in David Gray's ‘Babylon’. But clearly in pop music there are many other features and qualities of music that make up a sound. The Sex Pistols' simply sound very different to David Gray. Their music ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles