The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches widens the scope of analytical approaches for popular music by incorporating methods developed for analyzing contemporary art music. This study endeavors to create a new analytical paradigm for examining popular music from the perspective of developments in contemporary art music.
"Expanded approaches" for popular music analysis is broadly defined as as exploring the pitch-class structures, form, timbre, rhythm, or aesthetics of various forms of popular music in a conceptual space not limited to the domain of common practice tonality but broadened to include any applicable compositional, analytical, or theoretical concept that illuminates the music. The essays in this collection investigate a variety of analytical, theoretical, historical, and aesthetic commonalities popular music shares with 20th and 21st century art music. From rock and pop to hip hop and rap, dance and electronica, from the 1930s to present day, this companion explores these connections in five parts:
- Establishing and Expanding Analytical Frameworks
- Technology and Timbre
- Rhythm, Pitch, and Harmony
- Form and Structure
- Critical Frameworks: Analytical, Formal, Structural, and Political
With contributions by established scholars and promising emerging scholars in music theory and historical musicology from North America, Europe, and Australia, The Routledge Companion to Popular Music Analysis: Expanding Approaches offers nuanced and detailed perspectives that address the relationships between concert and popular music.
Table of Contents
Part 1: Establishing and Expanding Analytical Frameworks / 1. Some Practical Issues in the Aesthetic Analysis of Popular Music (Christopher Doll) / 2. Style as Analysis (Phil Ford) / 3. Thank You for the Music (Giles Hooper) / 4. Listening to the Sound Music Makes (Allan F. Moore) / 5. Analyse This: Types and Tactics of Self-Referential Songs (Bethany Lowe with Freya Jarman) / 6. A-ha’s "Take on Me": Melody, Vocal Compulsion and Rotoscoping (Stan Hawkins and Jon Mikkel Broch Ålvik) / 7. Interpreting Transmedia and Multimodal Narratives: Steven Wilson’s ‘The Raven That Refused to Sing’ (Lori Burns) / Part 2: Technology and Timbre / 8. Analysing the Product of Recorded Musical Activity (Simon Zagorski-Thomas) / 9. The Production of Timbre: Analyzing the Sonic Signatures of Tool’s Ænima (1996) (Kevin Osborn and Brad Osborn) / 10. "What Music Isn’t Ambient in the 21st Century?": A Design-Oriented Approach to Analyzing and Interpreting Ambient Music Recordings (Victor Szabo) / 11. Electronically-Modified Voices as Expressing the (Post)Human Condition in Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories (2013) (Jane Piper Clendinning) / Part 3: Rhythm, Pitch, and Harmony / 12. Pulse as Dynamic Attending: Analysing Beat Bin Metre in Neo Soul Grooves (Anne Danielsen) / 13. Rhythmic Functions in Pop-Rock Music (Nicole Biamonte) / 14. The Aesthetics of Drone (Jonathan W. Bernard) / 15. A Tonal Axis to Grind: The Central Dyad in Sonic Youth’s Divergent Textures (David Heetderks) / 16. Chromatic Linear Progressions in Popular Music (Neil Newton) / 17. System 7 (Ciro Scotto) / 18. Emerson, Lake and Palmer's "Toccata" and the Cyborg Essence of Alberto Gianastera (Kevin Holm-Hudson) / Part 4: Form and Structure / 19. Yes, the Psychedelic-Symphonic Cover, and "Every Little Thing (John Covach) / 20. ‘Silence in the Studio!’ Collage as Retransition in Pink Floyd’s ‘Atom Heart Mother Suite’ (Shaugn O’Donnell) / 21. "Weed Crumbles into Glitter": Representing a Marijuana High in Frank Ocean’s Blonde (John Brackett) / 22. Form and Time in Trout Mask Replica (Peter Silberman) / Part 5: Critical Frameworks: Analytical, Formal, Structural, and Political / 23. New Music in a Borderless World (Marianna Ritchey) / 24. Here Lies Love and the Politics of Disco-Opera (Áine Mangaoang) / 25. The Love Detective: Cybernetic Cycles and the Mysteries of Desire in Arab Strap (Stephen Overy and Kenneth Smith) / 26. Unending Eruptions: White-Collar Metal Appropriations of Classical Complexity, Experimentation, Elitism, and Cultural Legitimization (Eric Smialek and Méi-Ra St-Laurent) / 27. Hearing Postmemory: Anne Frank in Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane over the Sea (Michael Spitzer) / 28. "Poet-Composers": Art and Legitimacy in the Singer-Songwriter Movement (Christa Bentley)
Ciro Scotto is Associate Professor and Chair of the Music Theory Department at Ohio University, US.
Kenneth Smith is Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Liverpool, UK.
John Brackett is Music Instructor at Vance-Granville Community College, US.