• 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.


Richard Middleton has noted that examples of textual analysis of popular music are far less common than studies of other aspects of music culture (like its history, or its fans) and are characterised by ‘methodological hesitations which suggest deep-lying doubts about the viability of the enterprise itself (Middleton, 2000: 1). In approaching the study of music as a text - as a carrier of meaning - we are most likely to find a range of interesting and suggestive approaches, rather than a fully formed single method we can apply with certainly. This chapter aims to move from questions about form we investigated in Chapter 8, to questions about the social significance of music in popular music culture. We will start with a fundamental ...

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