Popular music studies is a rapidly expanding field with changing emphases and agendas. The music industry has changed in recent years, as has governmental involvement in popular music schemes as part of the culture industry. The distinction between the major record labels and the outsider independents has become blurred over time. Popular music, as part of this umbrella of the culture industry, has been progressively globalized and globalizing. The tensions within popular music are now no longer between national cultural identity and popular music, but between the local and the global.
This four volume collection examines the changing status of popular music against this background. Simon Frith examines the heritage of popular music, and how technology has changed not only the production but the reception of this brand of sound. The collection examines how the traditional genres of rock, pop and soul have broken down and what has replaced them, as well as showing how this proliferation of musical styles has also splintered the audience of popular music.