What is Middleton’s aim in writing this book?



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He believes the study a CRITICAL ONE

and that change happens within periods of MODERNIZATION.

What are MODERN definitions of popular music that others have made that Middleton finds NOT satisfactory?

(p. 4)

1)Normative definitions (Popular music is an inferior type.)

2)Negative definitions (Popular music is music that is not something else…usually ‘folk’ or ‘art’ music.)

3)Sociological definitions (Popular music is associated with/produced by or for/ a particular social group)

4)Technologico-economic definitions (Popular music is disseminated by mass media and/or in a mass market.)

What are the problems Middleton finds with the positivist approach to popular music study that deals with the most popular items of popular music?

(p. 5)

it is characterized by the question of SIZE and by the phenomenal form of the SERIES. It MEASURES according to the MARKET and excludes anything that doesn’t fit these.

It treats songs solely as OBJECTS, neglecting their role in culutral practice or ‘way of life.’

What is Middleton’s complaint about “sociological essentialism” as a definition for change in popular music?

(p. 5)

That music cannot just be viewed in terms of it’s role in sociology or sub-culture/culture.

‘Popular music’ can only be properly viewed within the context of teh WHOLE MUSICAL FIELD, within which it is an active tendency; and this field, together with its internal relationships, is never still-it is always in MOVEMENT.

Why does Middleton need to locate musical categories TOPOGRAPHICALLY?

(p. 6)

Because popular music movements always contain CONTRADICTIONS.

Against the POSITIVISTS: it is impossible simply to wipe out the ideological accretions to a term like
‘popular music’

Against the ESSENTIALISTS: musical practices and accretions cannot be simply DISENTAGLED, either from each other or from cultural relations as a whole.

SOCIETY (in class societies) is always CONTRADICTORY, and it’s popular music is a dichotomy/ a STRUGGLE…

How does the structure of music relate to the structure of power?

(p. 6)

Though the structure of the musical field is RELATED to the structures of power, it is NOT DETERMINED by them.
Who is Gramsci?
Antonio Gramsci was an Italian writer, politician, political theorist, linguist and philosopher. A founding member and onetime leader of the Communist Party of Italy, he was imprisoned by Benito Mussolini’s Fascist regime. His writings are heavily concerned with the analysis of culture and political leadership and he is notable as a highly original thinker within the Marxist tradition. He is renowned for his concept of cultural hegemony as a means of maintaining the state in a capitalist society.

Not a musician, but wrote one important item about music that Middle spends a whole chapter on…RELATIVE AUTONOMY of cultural practices…the relationship between ACTUAL culture, ideas, experience & ECONOMICALLY DETERMINED FACTORS like class position always form an ideological dichotomy that becomes an object of STRUGGLE.

What is the basic idea of Gramsci’s approach to the study of popular music?

(p. 8)

There is a relationship between ECONOMIC forces (which have a determinative role) and SUPERSTRUCTURAL elements (which have a relative autonomy). There is a necessary reciprocity between the two and cultural changes (& musical changes) are not predetermined but a product of NEGOTIATION between the two over time.
What, according to Gramsci, what mediates the process of cultural change?

(p. 8)

Class relationships and Class conflict

-there are no wholly separate cultures-(not his words…)

Musical (he says cultural) change is a a product of the PROCESS by which the relationships of dominance and subordination are articulated. (not his words…)


(p. 8)

articulation labels the process by which particular classes appropriate cultural forms and practices for their own use. The term appears to have originated from the work of Antonio Gramsci, specifically from his conception of superstructure.

In this theory, cultural forms and practices (Antonio Gramsci’s superstructure and Richard Middleton’s instance or level of practice) have relative autonomy; socio-economic structures of power do not determine them, but rather they relate to them. “The theory of articulation recognizes the complexity of cultural fields. It preserves a relative autonomy for cultural and ideological elements (…) but also insists that those combinatory patterns that are actually constructed do mediate deep, objective patterns in the socio-economic formation, and that the mediation takes place in struggle: the classes fight to articulate together constituents of the cultural repe[r]toire in particular ways so that they are organized in terms of principles or sets of values determined by the position and interests of the class in the prevailing mode of production.”

How do articulating principles operate?
Articulating principles “operate by combining existing elements into new patterns or by attaching new connotations to them”.
Check out who Richard Middleton is at this website…understanding his prerogative helped me to understand his arguments and thought processes a lot.
What is it called when 2 or more different musical elements are made to symbolize or evoke each other?

-example 1: the ‘remade’ commercial late Victorian music hall when working class ideals were crossed with political elements to get POPULAR IMPERIALISM.

-example 2: Elivs linked youth rebellion, working class earthiness, and ethnic roots of black gospel/blues.

-example 3: the ‘classlessness’ around the early Beatles, political ideals combined with swinging Britian ideas and working class/boy next door/man in the street notions.

What makes cross-connotation in music “work”?
When it seems ‘natural’ the articulative process works well and it spreads widely through society.

Like: Victorian music halls’ ballads, Elvis, the early Beatles, and the 1970s & 80s chart hits (think Eurovision & mainstream rock…)

What happens to music in moments of social crisis?

(p. 9)

There is an UNNATURAL, social unrest and most often a new concept that is unrelated is introduced into popular music and mainstream culture.

Like: early 1900s syncopated dance music, 1950s early rock and roll, 1970s punk music.

How does the theory of articulation explain the relationship between culture and ideology and explain patterns?

(p. 9)


-The theory of articulation recognizes teh complexity of culutral fields. It preserves a RELATIVE AUTONOMY for culural and ideological elements (like musical structures and song lyrics) but insists that those combinatory patterns that are actually constructed do mediate deep, objective patterns in teh socio-economic formation, and taht the mediation takes place IN STRUGGLE!

(According to GRAMSCI & MIDDLETON) Why are certain structures in music associated with certain groups?

(p. 10)

Some signifying structures are more easily articulated to the interests of one group than are some others; similarly, that they are more easily articulated to the interests of one group than to those of another.
What IS the struggle according to Gramsci?

(p. 10-11)

The dichotomy between:


-The theory of articulation means that the musical field is not undetermined, but OVERdetermined.
(The ruling interests in the social formation take the lead in setting the predispositions which are always try8ing to constitute a recieved shape.

What are cultural formations conditioned by according to the ‘theory of articulation’?

(p. 11)

CLASS POSITION *most central
What nuances a collection of many elements on music to make it apply to a particular group?

(p. 11)

The effect of a ‘constellation’ is nuanced by the social situation of LISTENERS.

-i.e. Elvis related to proletarian, black & poor white, young males in the American South when he started…this ‘constellation’ was appropriated by THEM. People related Elvis to them, not the other way around, because they took his romantic-element lyrics, and an underview of the working class of the South on the American Dream, and a new awareness of freedom in adolescent leisure behavior…

Gramsci makes a distinction between two levels of structure in the ‘rhythm of change.’ Describe them.
SITUATION -the permanent, deep changed that is the result of crisis
CONJECTURE – the rapid, ephemeral change that occurs during the struggle to work out contradictions
In the last 200 years, three ‘moment’s of radical situational change are found in all developed Western societies, though the dating differs. Name all 3 and the musical change associated with each:

(p. 12)

1) BOURGEOIS REVOLUTION (Victorian, music is bought as opposed to made for use, the ROMANTIC movement)

2) MASS CULTURE (WWI era approximately, music became a commercialized commodity, ragtime and jazz popularized & the NEOCLASSICAL movement)

3) POP CULTURE (Post WW2, global rock & roll popular & the AVANT-GARDE movement)

What are Elvis’ 2 most notable contributions to the language of rock & roll?

(p. 18)

The assimilation of ROMANTIC LYRICISM & what Middleton calls BOOGIFICATION!
What is Boogification? Give an example.

(p. 18)

This is Middleton’s term for what Elvis did to subvert lyrical continuity. He took the basic vocal syncopation and cross-rhythm of boogie-woogie, and extended the technique adding extra off-beat notes not demanded by words of the vocal line, splitting up syllables and even consonants…


What is Mannerist rock?
This style of rock is associated most clearly with songs, many written for Elvis by OTIS BLACKWELL, like “Don’t Be Cruel” & “All Shook Up” during the late 50s which use the techniques of boogification, and exaggerates, overplays, and even parodies them.

(It’s that early rock and roll sound that makes part of the body want to move.)

Why does Elvis change as he ages?
Elvis is all things to his audience throughout his career, but the nature of the audience changes.
What two things contributed the most to the relative complexity and energy given to early rock and roll?
there was a richness of MUSICAL RESOURCES that were previously unavailable to a mass audience (like the blues but also other ideas), and an excitement about NEW TECHNOLOGICAL POSSIBILITES.
Who is Ned Corvan and what was his achievement?
Edward “Ned” Corvan (ca. 1830 – 1865) was a Tyneside concert hall song writer and performer, and a contemporary of George “Geordie” Ridley.[1] His songs were printed in a modified English orthography (& broadsides) designed to represent the traditional dialect of Tyneside in the middle of the 19th century, and are examples of Dialect Literature.

His famous character played the fiddle and sang in Victorian music halls and was named “Cat-Gut-Jim.”

His achievement was to take the money of the bourgeois social class values, and within the framework of socio-musical relationships to articulate these materials to the needs of his own particular audience (the working class).

[He’s an Elvis predecessor to how COUNTERCULTURE music became mainstream.]

What were the two technical changes that the Beatles 1967 single ‘Strawberry Fields’ is famous for, and what did they suggest?
-INSTRUMENTATION (added woodwinds, strings and brass)

*Suggests that this is music created in a recording STUDIO using quite complex equipment and recording techniques and that is it is music for LISTENING to, rather than dancing. (The Beatles had in fact just given up live performance.)

What is ironic about the use of musical techniques that signify the “unconcious” or “drug use” in late Beatles and “psychedelic” music?
The (mental) environment displaces the ego from centre-stage, an important countercultural theme, but it is articulated using musical techniques familiar in the official culture, or it wouldn’t make sense and be identified as such.
Name and describe the 3 PROGRESSIVE ROCK TRENDS in the 1960s and give an artist and album associated with each.
-listening over dancing-
(example: Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields”)

-drone and repitition = collectivism/ ‘riff’-
(examples: Who’s “Satisfaction” & Rolling Stones’ “My Generation”)

-surrealist/through composed-
(example: Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine”)

Where did Eric Clapton derive the riff from that he used in Cream’s “Spoonful” album?

Building extended forms over drones is an element of the blues that was used.

What did the drone and repetition of a single chord connotate in 1960s Mid-Blues like “My Generation” by the Stones, and “Satisfaction” by THE WHO?

The idea of a riff, like in Cream’s “Spoonful” was to state the position of individualistic elaboration over the collectivism of drone and repetition.

What was AVANT-GARDE rock music of the 1960’s, like Pink Floyd’s “Astronomy Domine” & Procul Harum’s “A Whiter Shade of Pale” similar to musically?

There was a basic 4-chord harmonic structure intentionally taken from Baroque music. The basic materials in “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procul Harum are taken from a cantata by J.S. Bach. There was a complementary trend of influence of older art as music sources.

In what ways are Avant-Garde rock of the 1960s and Baroque music alike?
conventional harmonic progressions melodic patterns, and structural frameworks

elaboration & theme/variation is used

4-chord harmonic sequence

regluar, strongly marked beat

continuo section (called a riff)

complete statements that fade out at the end

the harmonic complexity to rock standards mimics the cliche harmony used by Baroque musicians purposefully

repeated harmonic progression!


*Both were considered countercultural in their eras!

Why are psychedelic elements in teh musical style – blurred or tinkly timbres, for instance – typically interpreted as such by reference to a subculture of drug usage?
CONTEXT adopted by the SUBCULTURE, based in accepted culture’s ideas…OR

They are defined in this way primarily because hippies said they should be!

How does a “code” of the existing culture get used and turned into “codes” of the counterculture?
They are used because they are understood from the mainstream culture, but reinterpreted by the subgroup to fit their own needs.

-The prinicple of extended forms is reworked, still having an implication of ‘thinking,’ (thank you Beethoven), but now thinking of a different kind is suggested than by Beethoven (or anyone else who connected something external to music)

(Rachel thought: Beethoven is loved by rock musicians because he is seen as connecting programmatic ideas…which they can relate to. And, they love Bach’s harmony because it’s predictable, but also because they grew up in a culture based on music based on his theory, and for this reason it subconsciously sounds good to them and they connect to it. Mozart is obvious…melodies popular and bawdy yet still beautiful…he can go from holy to heady in 2 seconds…what pop musician can’t connect to that. These are the main 3 I hear in typical rock music, and ALL 3 were counterculture in their time! I think they vibe it, but don’t know why they connect…)

Where is the articulating principle of hippie ideology embedded?
within the dominant culture itself…
Why did Middleton bother to write his book? What areas did he think still needed to be addressed in the study of popular music when he wrote this book in 1990?

(p. 32)

The relationships between social formation, cultural patterns, and musical practice had been touched on by others…BUT not the

STRUCTURES of STASIS (what makes it stay the same)

He also wanted to examine the political economy of music and askied if in a CAPITALIST SOCIETY, is a really POPULAR MUSIC in fact POSSIBLE?

Who is Adorno?
Theodor W. Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German-born international sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist. He was a member of the Frankfurt School of social theory.

He wanted to be a composer and used his relationship to Alban Berg to pursue studies in Vienna in 1925, making contacts with members of the Viennese School, Anton Webern and Arnold Schoenberg. Schoenberg’s revolutionary atonality particularly inspired him to pen philosophical observations on the new music, though they were not well received by its proponents. The disappointment over this caused him to cut back on his music critiques to enable his career as academic teacher and social researcher to flourish.

He did however remain editor-in-chief of the avant-garde magazine Anbruch.

He loved the work of Emmanuel Kant.

In 1933 his credential was revolked by the Nazis due to his Jewish decent, and he and his wife fled to Oxford in 1934.
He lived in America (NY and LA) from 1937-1949, and then went back to Germany.

What is Adorno’s theory?
‘It’s all over now.’

Adorno argued that capitalism had become more entrenched through its attack on the objective basis of revolutionary consciousness and through liquidation of the individualism that had been the basis of critical consciousness.

Whilst Adorno’s work focuses on art, literature and music as key areas of sensual, indirect critique of the established culture and modes of thought, there is also a strand of distinctly political utopianism evident in his reflections especially on history.

He argued that the culture industry, which produced and circulated cultural commodities through the mass media, manipulated the population. Popular culture was identified as a reason why people become passive; the easy pleasures available through consumption of popular culture made people docile and content, no matter how terrible their economic circumstances.

What does Adorno mean by psuedo-individualization?’
‘Always the same.’ (his words)

-Differences among cultural goods make them appear different, but they are in fact just variations on the same theme. He wrote that “the same thing is offered to everybody by the standardised production of consumption goods” but this is concealed under “the manipulation of taste and the official culture’s pretense of individualism”.

Why did Adorno think that all music was becoming background?
Adorno thought that all music was becoming background because no one is speaking. (commerical industry controlling popular music) Therefore no on is any longer listening.
What is the basic point Adorno’s writing against popular music?
It is scathing? He notes musical production (in relation to capitalist societies), musical form (which he sees as becoming standardized), and musical reception and function (which he sees as almost totally instrumentalist, in the service of the ruling interests).

*Remember, this guy was a pro-socialist, protestant of Jewish descent, who fought the Nazis intellectually, and who basically thought that too much human reason and rationalization led to totalitarianism, and that the utopian key was individualism. That being said he was a mild mannered fellow, loved how open he thought American society was, and really wanted to retain a sense of WHOLENESS in musical processes!

What is Adorno’s dichotomy?
2 contradictory tendencies-

music which AFFIRMS or ACCEPTS the status quo
Music (of the avant-garde) which REFUSES such AFFIRMATION

What is the downfall of Adorno’s proceeding through the extremes in his arguments? how does this effect the way he views the popular music industry?
It makes him exaggerate real trends, and while Adorno’s is the most systematic and searing analysis of mass culture music, there is a pessimism and cultural totalitarianism that becomes absolute.
Against what background should one read Adorno and Gramsci’s theories?
WESTERN MARXIST theory and the ideas of the Frankfort School (to which Adorno belonged).
What was popular music like in the period during which Fascism and Stalinism rose?
It was one of relative situational stability and consensus. (Everything was kind of the same, and not much changed.) The machinery of the ‘mass culture’ was working well for the music industry.
Who, according to Adorno, is the historical fulcrum whose musical work perfectly balances the uniqueness of individual musical idea and organically integrates it into a socially comprehensible but freely worked-out tonality?
Why did music change after Beethoven, according to Adorno?
Beethoven’s “perfect balance” of
INDIVIDUAL musical idea

split apart after Beethoven. (Music became standardized, formulaic, and fetisheized in both serious and popular musics.)

Who said “autonomy disappears as music turns into nothing more than ‘social cement”?

He said it in German, in 1941, what follows it basically means:

production is reduced, in effect, to reproduction. He believed only Schoenberg and that lot resisted this situation at the price of soical isolation and deliberate incomprehensibility: the only way left to refuse the market!

How did Adorno diagram the cyclical pattern of the Anglo-American record industry?
Why did Adorno believe there was a large amount of loss by the record companies?
They are never sure of their maket and try to control demand and channel it in known directions. The best they can do is to offer a ‘cultural repertoire’ to cover a spread of the likely possibilities in order to minimize the risk. And this is what accounts for the colossal overproduction of records and the large number that make a loss
What did Adorno FAIL to look at in American music of the 1930s and 40s that would have explained the new musical techniques of Hoagy Carmichael and George Gershwin that Middleton feels Adorno ignored?
The ORIGINS of swing in black dance-halls, churches, bars, and the
CONFLICTS between institutions, genres and styles from 1890-1930 between vaudeville and the new syncopated styles.
Why does Hennion argue that the monopolies NEED the independent small music producer?

-There is an implied ‘individualism’ within the larger tradition of mass culture (that’s what leads musicians to get paid in royalties not a salary).

The smaller producers create SPACES which the system cannot close off or remove, and which ensure the POSSIBILITY of conflicts within the productive forces as a whole in music.

(Examples: Peter Wicke has argued that the ‘street’ origins of beat music on Mersyside reveal a new sort of COLLECTIVE practice emphasizing joint composition, arrangement and decision-making.”

It is the big producer’s task to have ‘the ear of the public,’ therby representing in the music the feelings and values of a ‘kind of imaginary democracy.’ But, he needs the little producers to find the individuals to feed change to that machine.

Name some issues that Middleton finds with Adorno’s picture of Beethoven as perfect musical fulcrum.

(p. 40-41)

-model pits individual subject against reified social totality.

-partial (less autonomous, reduces the possibility of a struggle: looking only at Beethoven excludes Berlioz, Rossini, Verdi, Elgar, Stravinsky, Eisler, louis Armstrong, and Elvis Presley.)

-Adorno relapses into idealism (The picture is of a freely developing microcosm whose internal dynamics nevertheless parallel those of the social macrocosm.) [Rachel’s words: he talks himself in a circle.]

-No reason why the intellectual collapse of the radical bourgeoisie in the early 19th century should necessitate a SINGLE line of avant-garde response, rather than a multiplicity of STRUGGLES which reuse older elements.

-Adorno’s Beethoven image objectifies those musical tendencies Adorno wants to privilege. (You can negate his theory just using examples from Beethoven’s later life and works.)

Who are three composers Middleton believes were working THROUGH the social conflicts of the 19th century with their work?

(p. 41)

Adorno analyzes with great insight the conditions of a psecific mode of musical autonomy, but then what mistake does he make?

(p. 42)

He then reads a qualitative change/historical variant (the advance of Beethoven’s style from the 5th to 8th symphony period more or less) when he could have seen it as Middleton does, an EPISTEM
LOGICAL category within the musical world.
What was Emmanuel Kant’s influence on Adorno and anti-capitalist musicological thought?
The German idealists, following Kant, assumed the essence of art to be its
DISINTERESTED quality under capitalism, and absolutizes a specific musical ideal as teh condition of productive musical work.
Which 2 composers does Adorno believe represent the 2 poles of AVANT-GARDE music?
How does Adorno categorize Mahler and Weill?
into a group that makes use of materials ‘which fell by the wayside’ …all that which did not fit properly into the laws of historical movement…montage-style is how he describes it.
What music in 20th century pop culture has often been assigned an avant-garde role under FASCIM & STALINISM?
& Beat music

-Beats referenced modern jazz in a countercultural self identification.

-urban Afro-Amerian culture references the ghetto hustler-figure of alienated urban man under capitalism in this way.

-Early jazz was often seen in terms of a ‘defence of individualism.’

-The mid-1980s in CZECHOSLOVAKIA saw the persecution of the JAZZ SECTION as politically subversive or alternative(which included jazz, punk, and rock)

Name some rock and jazz musicians whose tragic deaths, breakdowns, and martyrdoms parallel that of mainstream modernist arts…
-Bix Beiderbecke
-Charlie Parker
-John Lennon
-Janis Joplin
-Sid Vicious
What three effects of alienated counterculture are evident in the musical form of the BLUES itself?

(p. 43)

-disjunctive structures

-immanently contradictory musical language

-commitment to ‘authentic’ self-expression

Why is the ideology of bohemianism within the appeal of modern rock music in general misleading?

(p. 43)

-all categories of music live in the world of capitalist cultural production.
Give an example of someone who punches a theoretical hole in Adorno’s theory and explain why

-Adorno says that avant-garde COMMODITIES are an impossible combination (Zappa is an example of that…something avant-garde but yet a commercially viable commodity.)

Who fits into Adorno’s small category of ‘folklorist modernism’ and why?

he is embarrassed by them because of their ‘archaic’ elements but he is unable to deny their authentic power…he explains it away by saying they come from ‘backward’ Eastern European countries.

Why could Adorno find no avant-garde music in America?
The American experience had been different, the cultural experience moved at a different pace than Europe during this period, and the whole net of relationships between culutre and subculture, class and central monopoly capitalism had a different shape…so Adorno as an outside misinterpreted what was going on musically in American BELOW the surface.
Adorno’s basic concepts are STANDARDIZATION and PSEUDO-INDIVIDUALIZATION. What do they mean?
STANDARDIZATION-popular music depends on pre-existing formulas and norms which have the status virtually of rules, are familiar to listeners, and are entirely predictable. (As opposed to ‘serious’ music where every piece is unique…in his view.)

PSEUDO-INDIVIDUALIZATION-a song must not only be ‘familiar’ but also seem ‘new’ to succeed in popular music.

What form was used in popular music ballads between 1920 & 1950? Give an example.
The 32 bar form!

standard melodic/lyric structure
first phrase: 4 bars
second phrase: 4 bars repeating 1st four more or less
third phrase: 4 bars, contrasing or complementary

includes a schematic sequence of highly ‘primitive’ chords…


(look familiar? Was replaced in some later rock by the 12 bar blues…they just repeated it three times)

MAJOR EXAMPLE: Joe Turner’s “Shake, Rattle, & Roll”

Name & give examples of the ‘types’ of rock music that came out of the primitive harmonic ‘facts’ of Adorno, and that still exist.
-THE RIFF SONG (ex: Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love” & Cream’s “Spoonful”)

-THE CALL-&-RESPONSE SONG [or antiphonal song] (ex: The Who’s ‘My Generation’)

-THE TENSION/RELEASE SONG [built on alternation of narrative or repetition and lyrical release] (ex: Elvis’ ‘Jailhouse Rock’ & Rolling Stones’ ‘Satisfaction’ & ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’)

-VERSE-AND-REFRAIN SONG [derived from folk music elements](ex: anything by Bob Dylan!!!)

What two things does Adorno think are necessary for “CULTURAL GOODS”?

(He thinks these are a cliche facade!)

What five “effects” does Adorno list that popular music uses to pseudo-individualize music so that it excites the listener but does not disturb the balance or formula of rules?
1) complicating harmonies by embellishing the primary chords

2) complicating rhythmic effects such as syncopations or distortions of the straight rhythm

3) ‘coulouristic’ and ‘dirty’ timbres

4) ‘blue’ notes

5) improvisations and ‘breaks’

Name some ‘colours’ of the collective musical mindset coming from the mass culutral media which arranges since the 1950s have stablized and pull of the shelf when needed to apply to the basic formula


Where does Adorno draw his criteria for ‘good music’ from?

(pgs. 55-57)

He wrongly bases everything in his own Germano-Austrain symphonic history and background.

(for example: he puts dissonance as breaking the rule, where in some cultures which influenced popular song forms it is a part of the correct, just from a different system…there are lots of examples but you get the idea…)

What is an “Ur-pop” song, according to Adorno?
The STANDARD pop song.

There seems to be a kind of “Ur-pop” song in Adorno’s mind – to which no actual song, however standardized, could totally conform.

Formulaic schemes are common in very many kinds of music…what is the exception?
most 19th century European ‘art’ music is the striking exception…

the world has many tunes (even from European ‘folk’ traditions) which follow predictable, well-knonw melodic and rhythmic patterns. [Remember MAQAM? and RAGA?]

What are the twin functions of popular music, according to Adorno, that the public clamors for, and is going to get anyway?
DISTRACTION (music as narcatoic)
AFFIRMATION (music as acceptance of inevitable and identification…with a group or subgroup I think)
What have the demands of real listening been replaced with in modern society, according to Adorno, and what has that caused?
The demands of real listening have been replaced by the functions of PSYCHO-SOCIAL CONDITIONING!

The caused the use-value to be destrocyed

What have the demands of real listening been replaced with in modern society, according to Adorno, and what has that caused?
Adorno says:
The demands of real listening have been replaced by the functions of PSYCHO-SOCIAL CONDITIONING!

The caused the use-value of music to be destroyed.
Middleton says:
We have become an age of background music, listening is often distracted, and popular music is often used as a drug or as a ‘switch’ to trigger preplanned narcissistically comfortable sensations or as an instrument of group conformity. (But he thinks Adorno has good ideas but goes too far to the extreme.)

What is Marx’s vision of the arts in the future?
Marx’s vision of the future sees everyman an artist.
How does Adorno see the role of the listener?

(p. 59)

There is no conception in Adorno of listeners coproducing musical meaning directly, at the moment of creation.



Discuss the basic strengths and weaknesses of Adorno’s theory, according to Middleton.
Strengths: stress on mediation, on music’s social contexnt, on the importance of the systemic nature of the production process, on critique rather than description.

Weaknesses: (2 major ones) USE of ‘immanent method’ and his own historical location!
The immanent method assumes that the ‘truth’ of a work is to be found within the work itself, and you must read Adorno in the context of a reaction to Facism to understand him.

What is the ERBE?
The ERBE – is the heritage of the world’s pre-capitalist past, introduced by Ernst Bloch to reinvent the category of utopia for Marxism.

(it’s a concept of everything we were as a culture pre-capitilization…)

Walter Benjamin wrote nothing about music, but his arguments can be generalized for all mass cultural forms. Whom did he debate in the 1930s?

The two debated, and the “Benjaminin” tradition points perhaps “beyond mass culture” and he likes concrete cultural and social detail over Adorno’s tendency towards abstraction of social process.

Adorno believes in ‘autonomy’…what does Benjamin’s thought replace this with?

things are assimilated by habit. He writes about film, but it can be applied to popular music. The idea is of shifting art from the sphere of ritual or disinterested contemplation to that of everyday life and political struggle.

What does Benjamin see as the two combining factors which led to the impact of early rock n’ roll?
Radical newness yet making use of traditional elements.
Name 3 main reasons why Benjamin’s position is important?

(p. 67-68)

-he took the POTENTIAL of NEW MEDIA seriously (Adorno did not.)

-He recognized a NEW kind of AUTONOMY for cultural activity (called practice and intervention)

-He believed new modes of production would generate new kinds of perception

Define the difference between Adorno’s and Benjamin’s positions.

(p. 68)

“If musical politics now involves a constantly shifting ‘war of position’, Adorno helps us to understand the enemy, but it is Benjamin who is more able to offer the tools to carry on the struggle.
Define Henri Lefebvre’s “spectacle?”
Reality as permanent theatre of consumer products and images.
Peter Wicke argues that the rise of ‘the mass’ as a cultural phenomenon has what 3 qualitiative effects?
-encouraging socialization of production

-collectivization of reception

-a new social and aesthetic meaning to the music itself.

Wicke suggests that technical equipment is seen not as an external aid to reproduction but rather what?

(p. 69)

[he sees technical equipment as a]

characteristic of the musical original!

(front and back of this card are not questions..just a synopsis of some of the major players in the 1st half of the book….Rachel’s clifnotes of them anyway)
Benjamin = his work appears in the work of many musiciologists including WICKE & CUTLER!

Wicke= Music is now less about private feelings and more about people interacting.

Cutler=there are 3 modes of production, and INTERPLAY between modes is important. Talks a lot about recording technology

Adorno: All music has become background. No one is speaking, so no one is saying anything…scathing reports of popular music, Beethoven is the perfect fulcrum…beyond that…crap!

Gramsi: principle of articulation, cross-connotation, class relationships and class conflict, the idea of struggle because of the POWER BLOC vs. POPULAR CLASSES

McLuhan: the MEDIUM IS the MESSAGE & modes of production in oral literate societies are based in speech/writing. Head vs. heart in music, technology CAUSES sense ratio changes/how we listen…the problem with this guy is that he believes that all natural/healthy music is corrupted and destroyed by literacy.

Wishart: notation reduces the infinity of sound to limit our conception of music to the concrete…non-literate music making demands repetition or traditional frameworks.

Keil: studies karakoe in Japan, and thinks this is a personalization of the mechanized processes…making each man his own artist (hear Marx in this?)

I HEAR MARX in all of these guys mentioned so far…ALL!!!

What are the three modes of production according to Chris
Cutler (who sounds like he read a lot of Benjamin’s work)?
Folk (ear based)

Bourgeois (score based)

Recording (technology based)

*Notation negated folk music, and emphasized the eye over the ear. This makes music a potential commodity or personal property, and regocrding negates the negation and returns us to the ear, registering sound rather than notational schemes. (So all the main characteristics of of recording echo those of the folk mode, but transformed now because ANY sound is available.)

The 3 modes of oral cultures (folk), notated music (bourgeois), and recorded popular music (technical) have a type of musician that exists in all three modes…what is that musician? Give examples.

*Liszt, Paganin, Scott Joplin and Jelly Roll Morton…

What does Chris Cutler promote that Middleton disagrees with…his antithesis.
Cutler thinks that black music is ready made for recording because of it’s basis in folk-slavery = outside of capitalism.

Middleton says NO WAY! Bourgeois adopted black elements and they were part of the system.

(Here are more basic Rachel’s cliffnotes on boiling down major writers to the precis.)

Chris CUTLER: conflation of Marx and Marshall McLuhan. ‘Mode of production’ is mixed up with ‘medium is the message.’ [Cultural forms and social organization DERIVE FROM various media.] *Um…he’s so wrong…

**Marshall MCLUHAN: (major writer) head vs. heart in music. Also, technology changes sense ratio changes. Technology and culture are related as cause and effect!!! [Sense ratio is the balance between inputs to the various senses.] So this is his explanation for “background music” listening, et al. His argument is there’s an ideal HUMAN PSYCHE in oral cultures that was destroyed by LITERACY. He’s Catholic, and you hear it in everything he writes. (Middleton’s words, not Rachel’s)

Karl Dallas: “Rock is a kind of folk music” because its quasi-oral modes of composition and dissemination reslut in collective authorship. Quotes and sounds like McLuhan a lot.

John SHEPHERD: argues that consciousness, hence cultural forms are largely conditioned by the media through which reality is perceived and organized. Also a McLuhan acolyte. His most original contribution: ANALYSIS of the how the 2 ‘world views’ (oral and industrial) contrast and are ‘encoded’ in music.

Trevor WISHART: notation reduces the infinity of sound to limit our conception of music to the concrete. (Middleton thinks: 2 thumbs down!)

WISHART and VIRDEN: In the 20th century opposition is primarily between literate and oral music…sees them as dominating & controlling the social system, vs. the victims.

Graham VULLIAMY: links between musical media and structures of society, culture, and consciousness. Non-literate music making almost demands repetitive or traditional frameworks.

According to John SHEPHERD, in contrast to McLuhan’s total determination, suggests a dialectical relationship between communication technology and socially constructed consciousness. Shepherd sees the developments in post-Renaissance Western music as IMPOSSIBLE without what?

It’s propensity for large-scale, visually organized construction, abstraction of symbol from sound, co-ordination of multiple events and voices (through bar lines for example), and ‘spatialized’ chord structures and progressions.

What development encouraged specialization, division of musical labour, stimulated professionalism and gradually reduced the importance of amateurism.
The development of
From the mid-20th century on, there has been a big revival of street music produced in non-literate, often amateur performance and through the public dissemination of recordings…name some examples of this.
rock n roll
beat group (50s and 60s)

*these were centered on the GUITAR and NON-LITERATE modes of production!~

Name the major moments of media change in popular music history.
Growth of a song-writing industry
American music publishing ‘war’ between ASCAP and BMI
According to Middleton, what are the important questions to ask when looking at media form and musical context in music?
1st: what FORM oral production, notation and recording take in this precise situation, and
2nd: in what social context is it operating?
How does Middleton view Western music as a whole, since at least the late Middle Ages?
as a “total system”

Middleton thinks that we need to rethink how musicology relates to popular music…he thinks it should be reworked completely.

What is the danger in all McLuhanite positions of a simple essentialism, according to Middleton?
McLuhan: an intrinsically “natural,healthy” musicality is corrupted and destroyed by literacy…
Middleton: nope, musicality is NOT ‘natural,’ it is LEARNED!
What is the danger in all McLuhanite positions of a simple essentialism, according to Middleton?
McLuhan: an intrinsically “natural,healthy” musicality is corrupted and destroyed by literacy…
Middleton: nope, musicality is NOT ‘natural,’ it is LEARNED!
While a record is similar to oral performance, what is one IMPORTANT way that it is different?
A record is FINISHED – finite, objectified –
Where do big problems arise, for Middleton, in the McLuhanite theory?
Where LINKS are construed as CAUSES –

invention is sought, but innovations can be taken over and used for other purposes than their original intent.

Give a short timeline, outlining the technology of the 19th century complex of research and innovation within ‘communications’!
Phonographs and GRAMOPHONE
1914: World Record sales, over 100 MILLION.
1920s and 1930s: gramophone becomes part of the furniture.
1924-25: electrical recording introduced and crooning (in microphones)
1950s : early & Magnetic tape was needed!
cheaper and easier recording decentralized the industry somewhat, and later DJ’s mediate the TOP 40!
Name some advantages that came with the advent of magnetic tape.
ease of use
a potential for editing different takes into a perfect master
Why was the LP (long playing record introduced)?
The LP, introduced as a way of avoiding breaks in symphonic movements =, was not ‘meant’ for lengthy progressive rock piece.
When was there a quick appearance of extremely capital intensive, often custom-built studios?
late 1960s and early 1970s –

new skills
hi-fi stereo & LPs developed

Name some advantages for musicologists for using records over tapes…
means of extending that market into new, portable applications she was a two-way medium – like the early cylinders – and can be used for rerecording, crude dubbing, and mixing, and even simple reproduction of amateur music making.
What is ‘Xerox rock’?
punk music do-it-yourself ideas that copy and re-copy (some industry stuff illegally but modified) using cassette technology.
What defines the music culture we live in?
The kinds of SOUND with which we have become familiar.
What is a ‘recording consciousness’?
In a society literally wired for sound, an audience’s collective memory takes over and it ‘hears’ what it cannot hear, in the ‘sketch’ provided by the band…this helps explain the UBIQUITY of non-literate composition methods…mixing different ‘earpoints’ produces a ‘way of hearing’ that is an acoustic expectation for anyone who listens to contemporary recordings. It cannot be achieved without the aid of electronic devices. It has never before existed on earth.
Why did amplification begin?
Guitarists demands for their solos to be heard through the sound of big bands. This then facilitated an expansion of certain traditional guitar solo techniques like fast runs, inflection and glissando…and vibrato. This loed to demands for extra technology in this area (wah-wah, fuzz, etc.) and this to bigger and better amplification so that electric basses could match louder lead guitars.
Particular musico-technological crystallizations take on definite connnotational or ideological references…for example, how has this happened to rock guitar and synthesizers?
Because of its history in rock music, the electric guitar itself signifies ‘passion’ and ‘sexuality.’

Synthesizers, because of particular usages, have acquired connotations of ‘modernity’ and the ‘future’ or ‘space-exploration’ and ‘rational control.’

What makes new radical music works succeed?
Radical work can only hope to succeed if it plays off an acknowledgement of the strength of existing manifestations of technology and cultural form.
What makes popular music a vital area for research, according to Middleton?
the social relations of music production and distribution
How has electronic media’s use changed the music world and ethnomusicology?
it has made a ‘world library’ available by recording.
How does music become a product?
As Marx put it, ‘consumption produces production.’ Product BECOMES a product only through consumption.
How did the emergence of the ‘urban crowd’ in the mid-19th century affect the new quality of everyday life?
It creates ‘shocks’ in the music that mirror the ‘abandoned in the crowd’ feeling caused by mass existence. Also the mystery of the enjoyment of the multiplicity of numbers, and not only numbers of people, but also stimuli, visual and aural. By the 20th century, the growth of mass reproduction and Benjamin’s ‘spectrum of responses’ seems to run from distracted listing-in-habit and the ‘shock-effect’ into artistic forms.
How did Adorno and Eisler compare the ear and the eye?
They have pointed out how the ear, unlike the eye, is always OPEN …always ‘active’ and in unguarded, ‘passive’ receptor.
What was the important function of the bourgeois concert form from a sociological perspective?
It was used as a means of LIMITING music, in time and space, FRAMING sound-stimuli in a clear producer-consumer spatial hierarchy and an equally clear transmitter-receiver communicative chain…this was part of a continuous process of historical change.
What are the two extremes of listening in our culture, in which SPEECH tends to be heard as ‘inner writing’?
The ‘distracted’ enviornment of many club settings
the hushed concentration typical of singer-songwriter concerts
The ‘everyday life of the modern world’ privileges RECURRENCE in music, what then becomes a pressing matter in song form?
HOW TO END A SONG becomes pressing, and the answer is often NOT to end but to fade or use an artificially abrupt finish.
Why do music-users sing along?
The identify with the vocal, appropriating the song and making the performance their own. Forgotten or indecipherable lyrics may be replaced by substitutes – sometimes the result is more interesting than the original.
What does Keil interpret as a personalization of the mechanized process?
Music hall styles evolved into the 3 main modes of 20th century popular music…what are they?
The everyday:distraction/particpation/conviviality

The auratic:image/fantasy/narrative identification

The critical:shock/protest

(This is the beginning of part 2 in the book…so it’s less about other writers and more of Middleton’s ideas. He is proposing a new analytical framework, and as such all ideas are synopses of what Middleton thinks unless otherwise specified.)

Which science does Middleton believe should study popular music?

What, in Middleton’s view, has been wrong with how musicologists have looked at popular music up to the time of the book writing? (it was written in 1990 by the way)
Musicologists are looking for types of production, musical form, and listening which they associate with a different kind of music – let us call it ‘classical music’ for now – and they generally find popular music lacking.
What are the 3 main aspects of the problem with how musicology defining popular music?
1) the terminology is slanted towards the needs and history of a particular music (‘classical’)

2) the methodology was slanted by the characteristics of notation

3) an ideology slanted by the origins and development of musicology itself…it is not historically neutral.

Give a basic synopsis of Alec WILDER’s writing…
thorough survey of Tin Pan alley and Broadway called “American Popular Song” dealing with innovation and something he calls ‘honesty.’ His major point is that popularity does not automatically presuppose or demand pedestrian or ‘hack’ invention. He sort of defines ‘honesty’ as something like ‘unpretentious craftsmanship.’
Charles HAMM denies the importance of black input in shaping the new, specifically ‘American’ style of early Tin Pan Alley music…what else does Hamm say in his writings?
The methodological focus on TEXTS means that sometimes important distinctions of category or meaning are missed or simplified. This ‘rock’ becomes all one category, so does Tin Pan Alley song between the wars. Hamm describes PUNK as nothing more than a continuation of rock musical traditions and is forced to describe the effect of the most successful musician in terms of mystification. He says the Beatles were successful because they were enormously talented in using familiar musical elements to create songs of such simplicity that one wonders why other musicians could not or did not do just what they were doing…
He also says that notation has undergone preventative censorship under the ‘imperialism of Western literacy.’
Middleton is not impressed with Hamm.
What does
Who writes about the amalgamation of Jewish and black music in popular American song?
Berndt Ostendorf argues that Jewish songwriteres like Berlin and singers like Al Jolson and Jimmy Durante acted as mediators of black culture, routing it through their own sense of marginality. Key shared characteristics were improvisation, interaction with the audience, and an ability to switch moment by moment between multiple codes.

…he notes that Jewish culture did not have any negative connotations of black culture like their WASPy neighbors…

Who wrote books on the Beatles and Bob Dylan?
Wilfrid MELLERS wrote books on the Beatles and Bob Dylan, paying more attention to performance than HAMM did…
MELLERS stresses the analytic centrality of what is heard, written notation can represent neither the improvised elements nor the immediate distortions of pitch and flexibilities of rhythm which are the essence of a music orally and aurally conceived.

He records that published sheet music is after-events supplying an incorrect approximation of the recording.

In the DYLAN BOOK, MELLERS accepts the distorting effects of these problems and abandons notation. This is an important advance – though it brings its own problems, for it now becomes quite difficult to talk clearly and in depth about harmony and melody at all.

He sees the Beatles as standing between different musical methods and traditions.

(Here is a synopsis of the major players from the next section…according to me…)

WILDER-elitist snobbery
HAMM-(Tin Pan Alley guy…who is totally wrong) respectful populist
(both are text heavy and separate the written form from the performance)
MELLERS-(Beatles and Bob Dylan guy)’enlightened Leavisite’ =accepts creativity surfacing WITHIN the products of the commercial culture industries. [His teacher at Cambridge was a professor called Leavis.]

Janos MAROTHY-from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century, gives a cross section of how musicians have taken over ‘high’ techniques and transformed them.

Charles KEIL-(the karaoke guy) describes Western musical analysis by virtue of its dependence on notation as SYNTACTIC…there is ’embodied meaning’ in notated music with a set of norms including expectations, surprises, tensions, and resolutions. In CONTRAST to this, he says non-notated musics and performances of written music foreground PROCESS. they have ‘engendered’ feeling’ and are unsuited to the application of ‘syntactic’ criteria.

Andrew CHESTER: posits an opposition of ‘extensional’ and ‘intentional’ musical practices. Western music builds OUTWARDS from basic musical atoms, but rock FOLLOWS the path of INTENTIONAL development.

Antoine HENNION: denies the possibility of a musicologist of popular songs altogether, because they have no objective meaning or form, only having specific modes of production on one hand, and social contexts of consumption on the other. Therefore they must be analyzed THERE, and there only. He gets stuck by sticking at the level of ethnographic description, and can’t get analytically any deeper.

Van der Merwe: (the folk styles of Britan guy…we read this for other class)…connecting techniques of traditional African musics, of ‘folk’ styles in Britan, and of the offspring of both in America. He says some blues/rock bass patterns can be traced back to 16th-century dance music. The ‘passamezzo moderno’ is one of 2 popular harmonic formulae in the Renaissance period, divided into 2 complementary strains and turns into the 12-bar blues. (Shock to the conventional view, but Middleton and Rachel both think he’s right.)

Where is the continuity which preserves major conventions more solid?
At the ‘popular’ level, this continuity is more solid than at higher levels in the socio-cultural structure with their greater propensity to change.
How does Middleton think that popular music should be seen?
Music should be seen not as an antithesis but as an alternative position on the same ground. (THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO MIDDLETON! LEARN THIS IF YOU LEARN NOTHING ELSE :))

He thinks that the main task at hand is to “REMAP THE TERRAIN” and hopes that promise in a REFORMED MUSICOLOGY lies in the inevitable reorganization of the WHOLE OF WESTERN MUSICAL HISTORY.

Janos MAROTHY writing about music from the late Middle Ages to the early 20th century, gives a cross section of how musicians have taken over ‘high’ techniques and transformed them. He says that ‘art’ composers have always lived in the same musical field as those in the popular stratum, often in close contact with it, what examples does he give?
Bach with the Lutheran chorale
Beethoven with the popular heroic music of revolutionary France
Elgar with the turn-of-the-century march
Mahler with the Viennese waltz
Gino STEFANI insists that the common use of what has resulted in unified musical culture?
A ‘musical mother-tongue of the Western world’
What two stands does a musicologist of popular music inescapably struggle between?
The CULTIVATED side of his training and the POPULAR side of his subject matter. (The only phase we are talking about is the biography of capitalism…btw…Rachel’s opinion).

Middleton thinks that rather than pulling to one side, with the traditional musicologists, or the other with the ‘total critics’ or musicology it would be better for the popular musicologist to LOOK BOTH WAYS, LIVING OUT THE TENSION…it offers an opportunity to develop a CRITICAL musicology which could provide a vastly increased analytical power.

Stephen BLUM asks “What does it mean to know music?”…what does he mean…
the question entails that the inquirer attempt to achieve a measure of critical perspective upon the social circumstances and processes which have produced his own educcation…

the epistemology of a musician or a scholar must be considered as a variable.

What is at issue for any
‘critical musicology’?
the exact nature of the relationship between particular musical problematics and the wider cultural, social and ideological forces.
Which type of musicological study treats popular genres simply as additions to the musicological corpus.
‘progressive liberalism’
What is the classic case of legitimation of a once disreputable music?

this past of applying classical musicology to jazz affects HOW the music is heard and interpreted and also WHAT PART of the corpus is privileged for study

What term is associated particularly to the social history of music? Give an example of what is wrong with it.
“Liberal pluralism” treats music as an exxtra or as a context…the focus is still on the ‘great music’ but it is now assumed that this can be better understood with a background in contemporary popular musics…the New Grove Dictionary now has popular music APPEARING, but it is written about as though it has no EFFECT on everything else in music history…which is not true.
Middleton advocates ‘critical musicology’…what does that mean?
It is the stance that recognizes the need to ‘walk round’ the entire topography, holding this map in the mind so that there is ultimately a committed point of view which is nevertheless aware of a structure of mutually critical perspectives analogous to the structure of the musical practice itself. (Middleton’s words)

There is a struggle in popular music creation, and likewise a struggle to write about it in an academic way. Therefore, Middleton thinks the best way would be to holistically think about the situation, and in a generative way use the best from each point of view…because that’s how the music’s creation functions…but also remembering and realizing that it doesn’t exist in a vacuum but is from the same world as the ‘art’ music of it’s time. (Rachel’s words)

Name some musicologists with ‘culturalist’ approaches to studying popular music…i.e. the many men trying to define “folk music”
Charles SEEGER-

Cecil SHARP-


(Middleton is kinda uncomfortable with the term folk, but uses it… I think your teacher likes him a lot so tread lightly and put a positive spin on it. Seeger is a good enough guy…he analyzed how people tried to define folk music, Sharp is an okay dude but dated…said that folk music is of the poor and lower classes socially, and Lloyd, as you know, is a socialist commie pinko who takes up where Sharp left off, and believes ‘primitive’ song belongs to the urban working class.

What are the 3 main approaches to the definition of folk music currently used (remember this is 1990) as identified by Charles Seeger?
1)schema of 4 musical types: primitive or tribal – elite or art – folk – and popular
(Folk is associated with LOWER class in this approach)
*Lloyd and Sharp fit here

2) defining criteria are looked for in the social processes of CONTINUITY and ORAL TRANSMISSION

(the dichotomy is with WRITTEN culture)
*Seeger pretty much fits here.

3)a rejection of all rigid boundaries, a conception of varying practice within ONE field of music.

This is the politics of “folk”

*[Middleton advocates this but says it’s necessary to understand the other two.]

To recap, name the 3 major approaches currently trying to define “folk” music?
1-schema: primitive, elite, folk and popular (folk = LOWER class)

2-continuity & oral transmission VS. written culture

3-rejects rigid boundaries – varying practice within one field – music (Middleton’s favorite)

What has folklore study so far studied and analyzed that opens the way to studying the continuity and communality of any music practice?
How do folklorists handle contemporary folk music material?
There is a tendency to look for practices that are in some way CLOSE to what is seen as folk music of a traditional type (‘survivals’), and to restrict analysis to a historical period rather than contemporary material. [Which is not really good and I have lots of issues with this!]
Who is Alan LOMAX? And, what does he have to say about contemporary “folk” music?
He is a “LIBERAL” and thinks that works have not, as other scholars expected, ceased to make and sing folk songs in “urban” 20th century America. In the modern world he criticizes, the characteristics traditionally ascribed to folk music – orality, community of respons, continuity, variation of formulae and recieved material – are all around us.

[I like Lomax, FYI :)]

What does Lloyd say about Sharp’s definition of folk music, and why is it ironic?
Lloyd attacked Sharp’s concept of folk, but derived his definition of folk music form Sharp!!!

In the end, Lloyd can only define folk song by assertion (the old technique of ‘if I say it’s folk, it is’)

Lloyd romanticizes ‘worker’ as Sharp romanticizes ‘peasant.’

What does Keil say about the idea of the “folk” concept?
He argues that the invention of the ‘folk’ concept serves to protect the ruling class from the threat and suffering of proletariats by 1st exoticizing them and then absorbing their cultures into it’s own.

“There were never any ‘folk’ except in the minds of the bourgeoisie. ‘High art’ vs. ‘folk art’ represents a dialectic that is almost completely contained within bourgeois ideology.

Why does Middleton think that the term ‘folk music’ should be dissolved?
“By dissolving the ‘folk’ then, we can bring popular musics of all sorts within the scope of an approach which analyses the cultural networks of musical production in their universality and their historical variety.
What 2 broad areas stand out that apply to the PROCESS OF GENERALIZATION OF METHODS in popular music study?

Transmission: this concept lies in the notions of CONTINUITY, COMMONALITY, and VARIANCE (What songs do people remember and why? How do musicians learn songs and how do they construct repertoires? What brings people together with this music and does it coexist with variants? Which ones?)

Form refers to vaguely to tune-families, structure of musical form, and whether music is put out on tape, LP, or by oral presentation only. (To be honest, Middleton kind of goes off on a transmission tangent and forgets about defining what he meant by form…it’s my major complaint of him in general…he does this a lot. Sets up what he’s going to talk about, hits one part really big, and then either quickly dismisses the other concept(s) he listed in the intro, or simply wanders into another tangent and leaves you hanging…I just gave you my a priori knowledge on form from Bonnie Wade and Bruno Nettl…okay…so I just went off on a tangent…yikes…back to Middleton-land)

“Different tunes are the same” and it is also true that “the same tune is different.” This is talking about tune-families formed through what 2 processes of variation?
IDIOLECT (individual)
DIALECT (context or locale)

[Carl von Sydow calls dialect ‘ECOTYPE’]

Name the three types of ECOTYPES (or dialect variated tune-families) and give specific examples.
GEOGRAPHICAL distinctions: 1960s’ Merseyside versions of rock n roll or Motown songs

SOCIOLOGICAL ones: Beatles numbers performed by the James Last Orchestra

FUNCTIONAL ones: a Jimi Hendrix single was not the same as a concert version of the same song

Explain how tune-family variation could be created IDIOLECICALLY. i.e. Individual variance created certain tune-familes…how?
There is a scale, running from ‘faithful copies’ of the original at one end (like the Stones’ early versions of R&B adn sould records), to radical transformations done for deliberate aesthetic or ideological reasons at the other (Like Sid Vicious’s version of Sinatra’s “My Way”). In between, would come Evlis’ reworkings of blues songs, the Beach Boys’ use of Chuck Berry riffs, Cream’s version of “Rockin’ and Tumblin'” etc…not to mention performers’ successive versions of their own songs!

As with ‘folk’ songs, the value and meaning of popular songs can be only partly assessed on the basis of any single version; their subsequent life ‘in tradition’ must also be taken into account.

So think of IDIOLECT variation of tune-families as associated with INDIVIDUAL people.

Tune-family variations can be grouped by PERSON (idiolect), PLACE (geographical dialect or ecotype), THING (FUNCTINAL ecotype…two versions by the same artist for different uses concert and recording) & IDEA (Sociological ecotype…fits into what society wants at the time and place…even if it makes not sense.)

What is Milman PARRY and Albert LORD’s “ORAL-FORMULAIC THEORY”? Give an example of one popular recording which evidences this theory.
Short version: (Parry & Lord) 1930s – epics/bards composed during performance via formulae.

longer, more literate version:

Developed by Parry and Lord in the 1930s (incidentally the same time frame that Benjamin and Adorno were debating) this theory about epics and bards being composed in performance (focusing on Yugoslav bards and Homeric epics) meant that musicians had to rely on formulae like stock adjectives, phrases, lines, verses, characters, plots, etc so that they could combine and arrange them and thereby “compose while in performance.”

JIMI HENDRIX’s recording of ‘Gipsy Eyes’ is an example. The entire performance is put together from variants of 5 stock ideas…which are listed on page 137: two drum licks, a complex of riffs, a basic melodic falling pattern, and an electric guitar effect.

What is the key “formulae” idea of folk and rock musics?

*Repetition is connected both to the nature of oral composition, and to the need of audiences for periodic ‘rests’ to help assimilation of long performances. The ‘hook’ lines offer a route through the song both for the performer and listener. “Folk” ballad singers insert ‘fillers’ a repeated line at the same point in every stanza.

While repetition is a feature of all music, a high level of repetition may be a specific mark of “the popular.”

What two ideas central to the “politics of folk” does Middleton consider myths?

* politically they derive from teh bourgeoise’s attempt to make critique comfortable. The judegement of ‘authenticity’ is always directed at the practice of someone else, and the ‘purity’ of folk society is a supposed idea of what is acceptable to the upper crust and “lower class but wholesome”…whatever the hell that means!

What is ‘appropriation,’ and who uses it?
Appropriation is a useful notion…the making , from WHATEVER materials, a “Music of your Own”

This idea is used by Janos MAROTHY.

With cultural stratification, hence alternative musics, the question that becomes pressing is whether to appropriate, accept, tolerate, have apathy towards, or reject music (or parts thereof). What are some questions that listeners might internally ask themselves, according to Middleton, and Marothy by proxy.
Wherever this music has come from, shall I make it mine, shall I reject it as alien, or shall I just consume it with more or less enthusiasm?

*This is called APPROPRIATION!

There is a “Spectrum of Appropration” ranging from new production to automatic response. (Diagram on page 140). Please list the 9 things on the diagram in order or draw the diagram from memory.
(left to right)

-new production
-‘composition’: a remaking of existing materials

-‘arrangements’ & ‘covers’

-reconstitutive listening
-participatory listening (singing along, dancing, etc.)

-active constitutive listening

-automatic response

Within cultural production in capitalist societies, musical object, however integrated into particular social practices, always carry the marks of their (contradictory) origins and of other (real or potential) existences. What question does this raise?
This raises the whole question of how they relate to particular social locations.

For example, folklorists almost always take it as asiomatic that ‘folk’ music and ‘folk’ society are linked…they are COMMUNAL rather than PERSONAL. (This is the ideal that Sharp and Lloyd went after.)

Lloyd’s constructed a historical schema that centers around 4 ‘Moments of Change’. Name them.
when: pre-Middle Ages
what changed: ritual/collective song to strophic Euro-solo-folk song

2-RISE of BOURGEOISIE (& it’s effect on the lower classes)
when: c. 1550-1750
what changed: squarer, common chord tunes

3-RISE of CAPITALIST agriculture which PAUPERIZES lower classes
when: 1750-1850
what changed: new tunes, longer tonally unstable, meandering, ornamented

4-INDUSTRIAL FOLK SONG & the urban working class
when: 1800-1914 (& a revival from 1945 onwards)
what changed:harsh, direct songs and PROTEST songs

*Remember this is Lloyd!

Folklorist sociology is always defensive, and defends an ideology. Therefore how are folk practices thought of?
They are thought of as static, conservative and ‘different.’

i.e. They are thought of as in the past, old-fashioned, and from that other group that isn’t us…and therefore the whole concept is complete BUNK!

Middleton combines what 4 aspects when he considers them for a case study in the ‘folk blues’?

definition: defining folk is nearly impossible…Middleton doesn’t like the term ‘folk’ but uses it a lot to describe others’ work when they used it…but he’s not a fan.
(methods:) we need to look at the ‘blues’ instead of calling it ‘folk music’…
(sociology:)…to see if it negotiates the contradictory forces in society at the time

politics: ‘folk blues’ was always about to die out and needed rescuing…Rachel’s 2 cents: some folk music or other is “always about to die out.”…rubbish…

Compare the way that musical folklorists study music to that of the anthropology of music approach taken by ethnomusicologists.
They share many characteristics: stressing the importance of performance, cultural location and social function, and of oral as well as written material…but the ethnomusicologist applies them more generally than the folklorist.

Ethnomusicologists commonly have a “cultralist” viewpoint as music is analysed and understood as expressions of human experience.

ADAMO lists the ‘cardinal points’ in the ‘scientific culture’ which ethnomusicology has developed that would be helpful when applied to popular music. List these 3 points.
1) the INTERPRETATION of music and musical behavior in terms of CULTURAL PATTERNS AND RULES which can be analysed in their structure.

2) the interest in the RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PATTERNS AND RULES at the musical level and all the other patterns and rules of the BIOLOGICAL AND SOCIAL LIFE of MUSIC-MAKERS

3)the tendency towards INTERDISCIPLINARITY and to a SYSTEMATICAL APPROACH which arises from studying musical phenomena from as many POINTS OF VIEW as possible.

(This is an important card…make sure you can THINK through these concepts, not just memorize them, and you can answer any question on this test!)

Most ethnomusicologists take it as almost axiomatic that there are close structural links between music and culture as a whole. These are called HOMOLOGY theories. Who wrote about this phenomena?
LEVI-STRAUSS said “between culture and language (or music) there cannot be NO relations at all, and tehre cannot be one hundred per cent correlation either.

While etnomusicologists have traditionally studied ‘primitive’ cultures, they could find the same ideas of culture linked to music easily in the popular music subcultures of the developed societies of the Western world.

Alan LOMAX (ethnomusicologist writing a lot in the 1960es) wrote about the function of song. What did he think the chief function of song was?
to express the shared feelings and mold the joint activities of some human community.

This argument derives from its large behavioral (as against symbolic) component: the link between culture and music is seen by Lomax as partly physiological.
At the same time, it ignores teh extent to which style is a CODED distillation of a COMPLEX of cultural factors. (Middleton thinks this is a mistake…Rachel doesn’t…Rachel likes Lomax on lots of topics)

Lomax discusses gender relations in a satisfactory way, because he pays attention to SOCIAL STRUCTURE vs. the sexual psychology his contemporaries were espousing. What does ‘complemntarity’ have to do with Lomax’s ideas of women in music within a culture?
High complementarity denotes a relatively high femal contribution to social and economic life, and is reflected musically b ythe existence and extent of polyphony and tonal blend (playing down the individuality of voices in the interests of cohesion)…as well as in relaxed vocal production.

[Conversely, as social cohesion declines, and individual male assertiveness grows, SOLO singing increases, and with it raspy, nasal, narrow vocal tone.

What are the 5 parts of Lomax’s scheme for the structure of vocal performance?
INTERLOCK: equal but distinct imultaneous melodic parts, no leader; primitive gathering socieites, no hierarcy

SOCIAL UNISON: everybody sing the same; simple tribal socieites, conformity stressed, leaders have little authority

OVERLAP: overlapping call and response; more complex tribal societies, leader’s authority ’embedded’ in collective approval

ALTERNATION: call and response; more stratified societies, leader’s control unquestioned and supported

EXPLICIT SOLO: one voice only; highly stratified or individualistic societies.

*While this may concern actual social structure, Lomax asserts that musical performance is a SPECIFIC SOCIAL SITUATION and that alone is what he is describing in this schema…

What is Lomax’s ‘discursive relativism’?
Musical meanings are not absolute but are constructed in conditions. (Did I mention I love Lomax yet?)

Example of ‘discursive relativism’: the unison chorus singing of the music hall audience could be interpreted as reflecting a ‘simple tribal society’ only by COMPARISON with, say, the part-singing common in the refrains of contemporary bourgeois ballad performance…

i.e. the continuity between the social structure of musical performance and the wider social structure is not direct, but subject to semiotic manipulation.

-Middleton doesn’t agree with me…he thinks Lomax starts off well but ends up in circular reasoning…I think Middleton doesn’t understand Lomax’s homology theories…but you better side with Middleton and pass your exam before I jade you.

Middleton thinks another ethnomusicologist, Charles KEIL (who also wrote in the 1960s) has a more sophisticated approach. In his book “Urban Blues” which focuses on B.B. King, Keil defines the urban blues largely by its position in Afro-American culture and the beliefs, behavioral patterns, and historical awareness of “blues people.” Keil sees teh ideology of ‘SOUL’ and it’s associated behavioral practices as central. What does he list among the 8 most important constituents (besides soul) in his description of black culture:
-COMMON EXPERIENCE (“black culture IS different”)
-FOLK ROOTS (like soul food)
-SPECIFIC MALE AND FEMALE ROLES (historical development of black family structure in conjunction with the pressures of ghetto life)
-EFFORT (this is valued more than achievement…”keep on keepin’ on”)
-INTEGRITY (valued more than beauty…”tell it like it is”)
-SEXUALITY (manifested in everyday conversation and body movements, dance, and representations of male/female relationships.

CHECK OUT PAGE 151 at least once if you have time.

Homology theory (as used by both LOMAX and KEIL who Middleton thinks both use circular reasoning) maintains many things about the desirable social qualities of a culture and how they are tied up in it’s music. What does MIDDLETON list and the 4 PROBLEMS with Keil’s Homology theory concerning the blues?
1) Black culture, although different, has never been isolated
2) the music has economically inseparable from the operations of white capitalism and its black progeny
3) musical tastes are not uniform, and not all blacks are ‘blues people’
4)How can we account for blues in the 1960s among a young white audience, and the influence of blues on almost all post-rock n roll popular music styles (and Eric Clapton patterning himself after B.B. King)?

*He goes on for 2 pages about three possible positions on this, but basically he thinks that music 1) reflects experience, or 2) expresses experience, or 3) assumes a structuralist perspective in which musical forms offer the categories in which ‘experience’ can occur.

(Basically it’s pages 152-154 but don’t bother…I don’t like Middleton’s take on any of this, I think he’s just plain wrong, missed the boat, and didn’t read the books that he should have before reading Keil and Lomax and took what they meant totally out of context…so I skimmed…you get the idea…this is where Middleton and I diverge…

What does Middleton as the limits to the re-construction of homologies?
Inscribed in the musical form and in its cultural history, there are LIMITS to the TRANSMUTATION OF MEANING and hence to the re-construction of homologies.

(Okay, Rachel tangent on this topic: how can Middleton keep using the term cultural history, but then say you can’t have cultural homologies…just the way he talks ASSUMES some homology of culture in an UNDERSTOOD way…he’s talking himself out of his argument from page 150 on…but he doesn’t seem to notice…ack)

What has the anthropological work on SUBCULTURES focused on in terms of urban musics?
Youth groups (rather than ethnic communities.
Subcultures exist WITHIN a parent culture. There are two types of youth subcultures, the majority which passively accepts commercially provided styles and meanings and a SUBCULTURE which sought a minority style. When a member of this minority audience listens to music, even if no one else is around, he listens in a context of imaginary ‘others’. This explains the two majors ideas found in subculture & youth musics…what are these ideas?

Deviance-I am different, my music is different.

Connection-The peer-group to which I belong rates the tunes and we collectively select for the members in a subtle way what is to be ‘heard’ in each tune. [These ideas are from a guy named Riesman writing in 1950.]

Give an example of how the stratification of youth subcultures could contextualize listening.
The early Beatles could not have meant the same to a working-class, and working, adolescent boy dancing to a performance in the Cavern in Liverpool as they did to, say, a middle-class adolescent schoolgirl listening to the records in a suburban London bedroom. But, both would identify this music as THEIR music!
Subcultural theoris were suspicious of the ‘youth culture discourse’ in the 1950s and 60s. Why?
They (correctly) felt that the theory was part and parcel of the whole ‘social democratic’ thesis of ‘classlessness.’
Hall and Jefferson, writing “Resistance through Rituals” in 1976 took CULTURE to be the patterns in which social groups organize their response to their experiences.
Hall and Jefferson, writing “Resistance through Rituals” in 1976 took CULTURE to be the patterns in which social groups organize their response to their experiences. Youth subcultures exist WITHIN a ‘parent’ culture; thus they share many aspects of the parent culture’s structural position in society but also have some ‘focal concerns’ that set them off to some extent from the parent culture. What are these ‘focal concerns’ of a youth subculture?
-activities (what teenagers do)
-values (what teens think that their parents don’t “get”)
-material artefacts (fan paraphanelia)
-territorial locations (hang outs)

(These are indicators of youth subculture music.)

When a subculture takes over and reinterprets something from the parent culture and makes it a new STYLE, the principle governing that choice, combination and interpretation of objects as a group is that of HOMOLOGY!

Homology is the process whereby the group’s ‘focal concerns,’ group structrues, and collective self-image is brought together into a distinctive and coherent ensemble, in which members can see their central values held and reflected. Give two examples of youth subcultures from Britan and explain their style homology.

The teds and skinheads. Post-war destruction destroyed neighborhoods and they had an aggressive defense of street territory and gang identity like the older working-class patterns. But, they also used DRESS and other new style patterns (such as music) to reflect their homology (or as Levi-Strauss would say BRICOLAGE). The Edwardian suit was taken over to show status from the upper class, and modified and combined with hairstyles to show the traditional working-class value of ‘flash’ and the American urban romanticism from movies. The teds style reflected on the cultural level a way of coping with economic and social problems.

For skinhead culture, the cropped hair, half-jeans, and big ‘working’ boots went along with male chauvinistic masculinity, football violence, and racist scapegoating from old working class biases in a type of collectivity based in their own collective economic and social problems.

Middleton argues that music associated with subcultures doesn’t come out of subcultures themselves, but rather is attached later by the members grafting the music onto their group. Give an example.
The teds were a visible group in Britian two years before rock n roll arrived in Britian (1956).
What music did many white subcultures surprisingly appropriate as their own?
black American music
According to Paul Willis, the relation between experience and symbol is organized and can be analyzed on which three levels?
INDEXICAL: the indexical level is governed by quantifyable aspects (for ex: which music people listen to, where, when, and so on)

HOMOLOGICAL:this level is where we find particular types of music sought out and pursued by a social group, rather than just in proximity to them

INTEGRAL: when the relationship between lifestyle and cultural item (in this case music) comes into being, develops and becomes two way, where each begets changes in the other

How does Middleton describe CULTURE?
it’s not a particular area at all, but a PARTICULAR WAY OF GRASPING ALL SOCIAL PRACTICE!
What, according to Middleton, is the problem with the concepts of ‘authenticity’?
There is a false concept of ‘our’ music and ‘their’ music…one is ‘false’ and the other ‘true to experience.’ This view cannot be proven.
Charles KEIL sees the folk music of ‘peoples’: polka, ju-ju, Greek rebetika, Afro-American and romanticizes this exoticism. What does he see as the “fall” of this?
The advent of ‘art’ and ‘classical’ music.
What is Romantic primitivism?
it is embedded in the development of capitalism…in capitalism’s need for an Other to refresh it’s ‘spirit’ in non-productive time, in contrast to ‘civilization’…and to prove liberalism to self…as capitalism penetrates and colonizes Third World cultures, their musics are dragged into the First World societies, but changed to suit their sensibilities.
Music conveys a message. There is analogy between music and LANGUAGE. However, in contrast to this, there are also strong ontogenetic and phylogenetic levels that suggest what?
That music has developmental priority over verbal language.
According to ECO, there are two extremes in the RANGE of codes operating in any musical event, what are these two extremes called by ECO?
-‘UNDERCODED’: pieces create their own individual codes (ypical of avant-garde music)

-‘OVERCODED’: a piece may be so tightly bound to socialized conventions as to be ‘about’ its code.

Though most think of ‘overcoded’ music as classical, and ‘undercoded’ music as popular music, the opposite can also be true. Give an example of each of these unexpected opposites.
‘SERGEANT PEPPER’ is UNDERCODED, and Mendelssohn’s ‘SONGS WITHOUT WORDS’ and several parts of Puccini operas are OVERCODED.
ECO distinguishes between two orientated styles and cultures. What are these two styles?

text-orientated style builds up codes from a repertory of undercoded texts.

grammar-orientated style derives often overcoded texts from a pre-existing system of rules and conventions.

Describe the levels of CODE sociologists might think of for popular music.
LANGUE: a general Western music code, governing the territory, roughly speaking, of functional tonality (starting, that is, about the 16th century and still largely current today)

NORMS: e.g. the mainstream conventions c. 1750-c.1900, or those governing the post-1900 period; within these

SUB NORMS: Victorian, jazz age, 1960s, etc.; and

DIALECTS: e.g. European, Euro-American, Afro-
American; within these

STYLES: music hall, Tin Pan Alley, Country, rock, punk, etc.; and

GENRES: ballad, dance-song, single, album, etc.; within many of these

SUB-CODES: e.g. within rock, rock n roll, beat, R & B, progressive, etc.; and

IDIOLECTS: associated with particular composers and performers; within these


STEFANI’s model of the musical code hierarchy – which Middleton thinks is the best available – adds to these code levels with further levels…name his INTRAMUSICAL levels:
MT (musical techniques)
St (styles)
Op (Opus)

these are grounded on what Stefani calls:
SP (Social Practices)

and below them on:
GC (General Codes)

The SP level comprises codes concerned with the relationships between all the social practices of a culture, including musical life.
The MT level is open to those versed in this particular cultural practice…i.e. all speakers of the ‘musical mother tongue of Western people’.
The SP level is open to all members of the social group concerned.
The GC level covers all basic categorization schemas, applying to music and other modes of symoblization…this ‘anthropological’ level is theoretically open to all members of the human species.

What do ‘etic’ and ’emic’ mean?
they are conditions of interpretation…

‘etic’ – means objective and autonomous

’emic’ – means the product of cultural knowledge

There are MANY semiotic analysis of popular music levels and patterns in chapter 6…mostly pictorial. I would look at pages 176 to 244…only the charts. On the back of this card, I will list some terms that are in chapter 6 and important…but overall it’s a wordy/messy chapter with lots of rambling about ideologies.
INFORMATION THEORY: is culture-centric and assumes universal syntactic norms – an ideal balance of originality and redundancy – leads it to an elitist aesthetics (1950)

STRUCTURAL LINGUISTICS- ’emic’ elements are recognized by a system’s user-culture as meaningful…these are the ‘pertinent’ units…other units and features are ‘redundant'(1950)

COMMUTATION: the close connection often assumed between words and music in popular songs

‘PARADIGMATIC ANALYSIS’: (1960s) Nicolas Ruwet developed this analytic method, based on the concept of ‘equivalence’. Ruwet argued that the most striking characteristic of musical syntax was the central role of REPETITION – and by extension, of varied repetition or TRANSFORMATION.

What is Philip Tagg’s technique of ‘hypothetical substitution’?
For any musical message the analyst carries out substitutions of the various constituent elements and parameters, with the aim of discovering how the ‘meaning’ of the message is changed.

Imagine the Beatles’ ‘Day in the Life’ and substitute any single pitch or duration, change the modality, change the harmonies to sound like soul, change to a different meter like the waltz, double the tempo or make the dynamics fortissimo, change a lyric line to ‘ice cream runs down my chin’, get Placido Domingo to sing it instead of John Lennon, or change the instrumentation to gamelan ensemble with Wagnerian tubas. Any one change is made and played to see HOW the meaning is changed…this is ‘hypothetical substitution.’

What does Philip TAGG mean by ‘museme’?
‘the basic unit of musical expression which in he framework of one given musical system is not further divisible without destruction of meaning.’
In semantic analysis, what does the term “connotation” refer to?
the feelings, associations, evocations and ideas aroused in listeners by songs.
For LEVI-STRAUSS, MYTH is structured system of signifiers, whose internal networks of relationships are used to ‘map’ the structure of other sets of relationships; the ‘content is infinitely variable and relatively unimportant.’
Blacking (1977) says:
‘if there are forms intrinsic to music and dance that are not modelled on language, we may look beyond the “languages” of dancing to the dances of language and thought. As conscious movement is in our thinking, so thinking may come from movement, and especially shared, or conceptual, thought from communal movement. And just as teh ultimate aim of dancing is to be able to move without thinking, to BE danced, so the ultimate achievement in thinking is to be moved to think, to BE thought…essentially it is a form of unconscious cerebration, a movement of the body. We are moved into thinking. Body and mind are one.

Middleton thinks that however far the general run of popular musical practice may be from this condition, Blacking’s statement sketches a picture of the semiotic economy which all study of the music can use as a starting point.

What are the categories of conventions into which songs are grouped based upon their lyrics?
1)everyday language song(trite familiar phrases like ‘you know what I mean’ or ‘with love from me to you’)

2) narrative song (like many traditional ‘folk’ songs and folk-rock songs like early Bob Dylan)

3)political message song (protest songs, etc…this is pretty obvious)

4) ballad (highly conventionalized language forms with rhymes like moon/June for example)

(Beginning of the wrap up chapter…chapter 7…about pleasure, value, and ideology in popular music)

The ideological structuring of pleasure and value in music has both institutional and discursive supports. From the researches of Pierre BOURDIEU and other sociologists of culture, how does musical ‘taste’ function?

the social organization of ‘taste’ in a society is a function of the overall ‘force-field’ through which the p[ower relations of the society are expressed in cultural practice.
Do we choose our own musical tastes, according to Middleton?
NO! We do not, then choose our musical tastes freely…the involvement of subjects in particular musical pleasure has to be constructed.
From the earliest popular music songs, from the 1st bourgeois domestic songs and concert ballads, the first music hall pieces, popular music has not so much been concerned with reflecting social REALITY, so what has popular music been concerned with valuing?
…offering ways in which people could enjoy and valorize identities they earned for or believed themselves to possess.
What are the 4 AXES that ORGANIZE listening?

(Rachel’s title: What makes music successful…i.e. something people want to listen to…it has to click ‘yes’ on all four of these items.)

-the occasion (appropriateness of environment, social function, political/moral assumptions, economic relationships, etc.)

-disposition to attend (to pay attention, to enter the space of the occasion)

-recognition of codes (‘this is music’)

-excitation of doxic presuppositions (This is appropriate music for the occasion and is doing appropriate, familiar things)

(Rachel’s thoughts:)
The last puts the first three together…it’s
Context + Location + Acceptance + all three put together and it still works = how listening is organized in the mind of the listener.

Factors that determin the MODE of INTERPELLATION(Listening).

(Rachel’s title: How does the listener FIT INTO what they’re hearing and connect to it?)

SYNTAGMATIC STRUCTURE (this means the mode of time-awareness into which listeners are placed. In a ‘narrative’ they’re listening to the chronological story, in an ‘epic’ they’re out of space and time, and in a ‘lyrical’ song they ARE the story and time is usually now)

-EMOTION: the invitation to feel

-CHARACTER ROLES: defined by social category (gender, class, group) and by personality type with which listeners can identify

-BODILY PARTICIPATION: the invitation to map, trace, or fill out the patterns of movement offered by the rhythmic structure and texture.

What is the idea of a ‘mass subject’?
The idea that the group is the subject in a way. A ballad, for example, constructs its listener as special, unique (“I love YOU”) – but within an implicit and comforting awareness of the existence of thousands of other “YOU’s” suffering the same pangs, desires, and frustrations.
There are 6 main values of music. Each gives a perspective from which people give interest or value to each song. Name them.
1-Positional values (identity management…”I’m part of the group”)
2-Communicative values (it “says something” to me)
3-Ritual values (fills a group need or cultural task like solidarity or ‘heightened consciousness)
4-Technical values (how skillfully is the music made? virtuosity and aesthetics)
5-Erotic values (does the music involve or energize the body? how is the body represented?)
6-Political values (‘black power’ or 1960s protest songs, or patriotic anthems)
(this card is something you should just conceptually ‘get’…not try to memorize)
There’s a huge chunk spent on questions about music’s “adequacy”…the basics are you should ask yourself the following about a song to see if it’s “ADEQUATE” as music: and kind of muse over the ideas in your response…no right or wrong, and not every question applies to everything…I REALLY shortened this but if you get the IDEA you can talk about stuff in a MIDDLETON way as being ADEQUATE as music…
How many voices? OTHERS? (other songs like it)
Does it provoke DEBATE?
Does it provoke SHOCK?
How DEEP is the response?
What is the extent of engaging a sense of AGENCY?
What order of DESIRE is in play? (shallow or deeper meaning)
Things I left out that are important I think:
Popular music has AESTHETICS as it’s dominant function, but the AESTHETICS are subjective. So, Middleton thinks that people who criticize popular music for sacrificing aesthetic to commercial or functional values miss the point.

There’s a large section devoted to how popular music is connected to the body (libido) and art music to the mind (mental). One obvious general point is that popular music is voice music and the voice (lips, tongue, breath, mouth, etc.) is sexual in and of itself. PLUS double entendre, pulsing bass lines, vulgar lyrics…basically there’s a lot of Freud and Neitchze quoting going on in Chapter 7! You can make this stuff up as you go…they sure as hell do.

Listeners can enjoy performances of popular music they are ideologically out of sympathy with. Mich Jagger expresses misogyny, brutality, and narcissism, and yet is enjoyed by listeners who disapprove of this message.

Pleasure is found in text repetition, which has something to do with the operation of the primary processes of the human psyche. We identify music before language. (We love AABB repetition in our music…)

There is now a ‘global village’ and Middleton’s last page concludes with the ideas of a ‘new subject’ in popular music who is locally rooted but a world citizen and will continue to struggle “for the people” as against the “power bloc” as it makes music in struggle.

Guess what…