By Allan F. Moore
How will we "know" song? We practice it, compose it, sing it within the bathe; cook dinner, sleep and dance to it. finally we predict and write approximately it. This e-book represents the fruits of such shared techniques. Portraying quite a lot of genres (rock, dance, television soundtracks, nation, pop, soul, effortless listening, Turkish Arabesk), the essays hide method, modernism, postmodernism, Marxism and communique.
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That context is a place, the United States, at a time when the rate of infant mortality for African-American children is twice what it is for white children, and child poverty is three times as severe. Black youth unemployment quadrupled during the period between 1965 and 1990, while white youth unemployment was static. The level of violent crime is virtually identical for black and white populations, but three times as many black people are arrested for committing the same crimes. 20 18 On the virtuosity of rapping and its relation to grooves, see Walser (1995).
The test of their utility is simply whether they can lead to more illuminating analyses of popular music. 10 Many scholars continue to argue that we need new terms and technologies as means for gaining greater analytical rigour. Technical terms for musical procedures and details are useful, of course, but we may not need as much jargon as we might 8 Such cultural analysis abounds, often in sophisticated form. A very recent example: ‘This chapter has argued that the Yanni phenomenon is not primarily a musical one (based on artistic or aesthetic factors) but rather a socio-cultural and commercial phenomenon based on the mercantile, performative and cultural logics of twentieth-century capitalism.
Moreover, technical analysis hasn’t made much progress in dealing with certain aspects of musical experience: how can we describe, let alone account for, such essential things as compelling qualities of motion or particularly affecting timbres? One answer is that we already have tools that we’re not using as skilfully as we might. We have language, which is, like music, an incredibly powerful and nuanced system for making sense of things and communicating our understandings. 2 Unlike language, music often seems not to require translation We don’t imagine that we understand someone who is speaking a language with which we have no familiarity, but music can more easily be understood as interpretable within one’s own discursive competency.
Analyzing Popular Music by Allan F. Moore