• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Popular music is an important part of our everyday life, entertaining, inspiring and even empowering us, but where did it come from, how is it made, what does it mean, and how does it eventually reach our ears? In this fully revised<strong> Second Edition</strong> of the popular textbook, <strong>Studying Popular Music Culture</strong>, Tim Wall guides students through the many ways we can analyse music and the music industries, highlighting crucial skills and useful research tips. Taking into account recent changes and developments in the industry, this book outlines the key concepts, offers fresh perspectives and encourages readers to reflect on their own work. Written with clarity, flair and enthusiasm, it covers: Histories of popular music, their traditions and cultural, social, economic and technical factors Industries and institutions; production, new technology, and the entertainment media Musical form, meaning and representation Audiences and consumption Students’ learning is consolidated through a set of insightful case studies, engaging activities and helpful suggestions for further reading.


One way to start our analysis is to identify some of the main characteristics of popular music, to produce some general observations about the music and to attempt to draw some conclusions. Questions about the form of popular music demand some basic knowledge of how music is organised, but they certainly get us thinking about the sounds we often take for granted. If you work through the ideas and activities in this chapter you will be able to provide some of the answers to these questions:

  • What exactly do we mean by a song?
  • How are songs organised in musical terms?
  • Why are songs organised with such a balance of repetition and change?
  • What criticisms have been made of the dominant song form in popular music?
  • What ...
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