Black Popular Music in Britain Since 1945 provides the first broad scholarly discussion of this music since 1990. The book critically examines key moments in the history of black British popular music from 1940s jazz to 1970s soul and reggae, 1990s Jungle and the sounds of Dubstep and Grime that have echoed through the 2000s. While the book offers a history it also discusses the ways black musics in Britain have intersected with the politics of race and class, multiculturalism, gender and sexuality, and debates about media and technology. Contributors examine the impact of the local, the ways that black music in Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester and London evolved differently and how black popular music in Britain has always developed in complex interaction with the dominant British popular music tradition. This tradition has its own histories located in folk music, music hall and a constant engagement, since the nineteenth century, with American popular music, itself a dynamic mixing of African-American, Latin American and other musics. The ideas that run through various chapters form connecting narratives that challenge dominant understandings of black popular music in Britain and will be essential reading for those interested in Popular Music Studies, Black British Studies and Cultural Studies.
Popular musicology embraces the field of musicological study that engages with popular forms of music, especially music associated with commerce, entertainment and leisure activities. The Ashgate Popular and Folk Music Series aims to present the best research in this field. Authors are concerned with criticism and analysis of the music itself, as well as locating musical practices, values and meanings in cultural context. The focus of the series is on popular music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, with a remit to encompass the entirety of the world’s popular music.
Critical and analytical tools employed in the study of popular music are being continually developed and refined in the twenty-first century. Perspectives on the transcultural and intercultural uses of popular music have enriched understanding of social context, reception and subject position. Popular genres as distinct as reggae, township, bhangra, and flamenco are features of a shrinking, transnational world. The series recognizes and addresses the emergence of mixed genres and new global fusions, and utilizes a wide range of theoretical models drawn from anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, media studies, semiotics, postcolonial studies, feminism, gender studies and queer studies.