An essential part of human expression, humor plays a role in all forms of art, and humorous and comedic aspects have always been part of popular music. For the first time, The Routledge Companion to Popular Music and Humor draws together scholarship exploring how the element of humor interacts with the artistic and social aspects of the musical experience. Discussing humor in popular music across eras from Tin Pan Alley to the present, and examining the role of humor in different musical genres, case studies of artists, and media forms, this volume is a groundbreaking collection that provides a go-to reference for scholars in music, popular culture, and media studies.
While most scholars, when considering humor’s place in popular music, tend to focus on more "literate" forms, the contributors in this collection seek to fill in the gaps by surveying all kinds of humor, critical theories, and popular musics. Across eight parts, the essays in this collection explore topics both highbrow and low, including:
- Parody and satire
- Humor in rock and global music
- Gender, sexuality, and politics
- The music mockumentary
- Novelty songs
Humor has long been a fixture of the popular music soundscape, whether on stage, in performance, on record, or on film. The Routledge Companion to Popular Music and Humor covers it all, presenting itself as the most comprehensive treatment of the topic to date.
Overall, The Routledge Companion to Popular Music and Humor is a refreshing assessment of the integration of humor within music and how this speaks of society on various levels. The text is creative and presents a commonly nonspecialist topic in a highly scholarly format. Summing Up: Recommended.
—A. E. Handfield, Manhattan College, CHOICE