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Redefining Mainstream Popular Music

ISBN: 9780415807821 | 0415807824
Edition: 1st
Format: Nonspecific Binding
Publisher: Routledge
Pub. Date: 1/25/2013

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Redefining Mainstream Popular Musiccritically examines the idea of 'the mainstream' in and across a variety of popular music contexts. It is a collection of 17 essays, with the objective to conceptually reframe the mainstream by exploring the relationship between a variety of cultural practices, popular music styles and the context within which they emerge. It explores the nebulous and often problematic use of the term; the reactionary and oppositional articulations of those who distinguish themselves from it; the contingent and conflicting aesthetic and practical operations that the concept embodies; and how it is both interpreted and constructed in an everyday context. There is a broad range of subject matter, which means key areas of popular music studies: identity, industry, technology and everyday engagement with popular music. The central concentration on mainstreams gives an original and pertinent take on key theoretical areas within the field such as authenticity, identity and subculture. Part I addresses issues of definition and understanding, demonstrating the contextual relevance of these. Part II looks at British and American popular musics of the 50s and 60s, critically reappraising the dialectics of co-opted mainstream versus authentic counter-cultures. Part III focuses on contemporary popular music scenes and production aesthetics that illustrate the flawed proposition and dissolution of the mainstream/alternative binary. Finally, Part IV considers the relationships of the mainstream to everyday uses and engagements with music.

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