Archive for the 'Pop Music Studies' Category

Merry Kitschmas

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, editors Sheila Whiteley and Brian Miller have produced thought-provoking collections of essays that revel in the myriad contradictions of Christmas in our global village. But the articles are academic and demanding. A fast track to the reality of Christmas in the 21st century is found in the books […]

Christmas, Music, Misrule

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

One of my musical interests at Christmas time is the performance of Christmas music played and sung by musicians in the great urban outdoors. My role model is the Salvation Army’s brass band culture. I have more than a passing academic curiosity because I have been a cornet player in a British-style Brass Band for […]

The Popular Music Textbook Dilemma

Friday, June 1st, 2012

If you look back at my earlier entry with virtually the same title, The World Music Textbook Dilemma, you will read my basic concerns which I will fine-tune here. Like my M328 class, I have not been able to find a textbook that reflects the content of my lectures. Stating it another way, I don’t teach […]

Pre-Reading and Pre-Viewing for the 2012 Summer Class

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

The count-down begins in earnest for M403J, Introduction to the Study of Popular Music, the 2012 edition, so you may be asking yourself if there is something you can do before the first class? Obviously a lot of lounging, considering that you’ve all struggled and fought your way to the end of Spring semester, with […]

What am I listening to right now?

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Students in my 2012 summer music class, Introduction to the Study of Popular Music, will soon be gathering in the School of Music building right about the time the rhododendrons are in bloom, or should I say, exploding from the over-sized bushes they stem from, all over the campus. At this time of the year […]

Music Appreciation 2.0

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I recently spent umpteen hours in front of a video screen, viewing three television series devoted to the understanding (and then appreciation) of music. But, rather than regretting the down time, I got off the couch very impressed and perhaps even changed. All of them were hosted and researched by Howard Goodall who has an […]

Early Popular Music

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

As I prepare for my Popular Music course this coming spring, I see in my lecture notes that I occasionally triangulate pop music and Early Music. By “Early” I don’t mean the dawn of rock and roll in the ‘50s; I’m referring to the popular music of decades like, for example the renaissance 1550s, the […]

Rebecca Black gets the last laugh

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Last summer, during the course of my class, Introduction to the Study of Popular Music (M403J,) I wrote a blog entry about Rebecca Black and her song entitled”Friday”. It was just peaking at one million hits on Youtube, and promised to go much higher. I liked it. “Friday” is catchy, devoid of inner meaning, and polished to a brilliant production […]

Performance Studies

Monday, October 17th, 2011

The Quartet, by Chrisopher Levenson After the velvet hush the first chords assail us gathered in darkness to watch the intent, horn-rimmed, screwed up concentration of four foreign, middle-aged gentlemen consorting maestoso, bowing and scraping. Out of the fidget Brahms slowly emerges like the Brocken, misty and far off and under another name. Four spotlights, […]

The Great Canadian Songbook

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

Students in my class, Introduction to Popular Music, are required to be able to recognize 50 iconic Canadian pop songs for two listening exams — 25 songs per exam. This assignment may seem to be a no-brainer to many, given the enormous popularity of almost all the songs, but not surprisingly, there are many Millennials […]

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