Anno 2016/1-2

Rivista di Analisi e Teoria Musicale

Anno XXII n. 1-2, 2016

Do we need “popular music”? Critical perspectives from music studies

Abbiamo bisogno della “popular music”? Prospettive critiche dagli studi musicali

edited by / a cura di Alessandro Bratus


Alessandro Bratus, In che modo abbiamo bisogno della popular music? Riflessioni su interstizi e spazi disciplinari, in luogo di un’introduzione, pp. 7-32

John Covach, The Way We Were: Rethinking the Popular in a Flat World , pp. 33-46

Stefano La Via, La canzone d’autore come terreno d’incontro tra “colto e “popolare” (con annotazioni critiche su alcune tendenze della popular musicology), pp. 47-80

Timothy D. Taylor, The Hip, the Cool, and the Edgy, or the Dominant Cultural Logic, of Neoliberal Capitalism, pp. 81-102

Philippe Gonin, Popular or not Popular? The Late 1960s, Counterculture and the Avant-garde in “Rock Music”. The Example of Pink Floyd’s «Ummagumma», pp. 103-128

Dietrich Helms, Do We Need “populäre Musik”? A German Perspective, pp. 129-156

Vincenzo Caporaletti, Quali basi epistemologiche per una musicologia della popular music?, pp. 169-196

Max Paddison, Critical Reflections on the Concept of Popular Music, pp. 197-214

Notes on Contributors, pp. 225-226

Notizie sugli autori, pp. 227-228

John Covach - pag. 33-46

The Way We Were: Rethinking the Popular in a Flat World

In the United States, the recent twenty years have seen the emergence of what might be defined as a “flat world” (Thomas L. Friedman) of musical styles – a reshaped cultural environment in which many listeners and scholars no longer view classical music as more sophisticated than other styles. The high brow/low brow distinction that once made the engagement with classical music a marker of cultural and intellectual superiority has been largely replaced by a sense that any style of music may be interesting and sophisticated in its own ways.

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Stefano La Via - pag. 47-80

La canzone d’autore come terreno d’incontro tra “colto e “popolare” (con annotazioni critiche su alcune tendenze della popular musicology)

The study of the relationhips between verbal language and musical expression, if applied to the most various historical and cultural contexts, facilitates a critical- analytical and interdisciplinary-transversal approach, capable of seriously challenging the traditional dichotomy “art” / “popular” cultures (colto / popolare), as well as the most recent tendency – especially in Italy – to give different meanings to analogous terms such as popolare and popular. Such a transcultural approach emphasizes not only divergences, especially in terms of compositional technique and textual transmission, but also no less relevant concordances, concerning the basic principles of music-word interaction.

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Timothy D. Taylor - pag. 81-102

The Hip, the Cool, and the Edgy, or the Dominant Cultural Logic, of Neoliberal Capitalism

Fredric Jameson’s 1984 essay “Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism”, was an enormously influential work that offered a way of attempting to understand cultural production in the era of “late capitalism”. Jameson’s articulation of postmodernism as the “dominant cultural logic” was widely cited and employed, but ultimately waned through overuse of the term “postmodern”, and with that overuse came the disuse of Jameson’s ideas.

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Phlippe Gonin - pag. 103-128

Popular or not Popular? The Late 1960s, Counterculture and the Avant-garde in “Rock Music”. The Example of Pink Floyd’s «Ummagumma»

From the USA (Frank Zappa, The Velvet Underground, The Grateful Dead) to the UK (AMM, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Soft Machine), experimentation seemed to be one of the preoccupations of the pop “avant-garde” that arose in Anglo-American popular music at the end of the 1960s, under labels as diverse as progressive, art or psychedelic rock. In regard to the linguistic resources of experimental music, two major kinds of approaches (“symphonic temptation” and “experimental temptation”) can be distinguished.

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Dietrich Helms - pag. 129-156

Do We Need “populäre Musik”? A German Perspective

The question in the title of this special issue is hard to answer from a global perspective. Local scholarly and institutional traditions but also local definitions of the term “popular music” have a strong influence on our way of thought. This article discusses the conceptual history that is associated with the German “populäre Musik” in following it back to its origins in the 18th century and distinguishing it from equivalent expressions like Volksmusik, Unterhaltungsmusik, Gebrauchsmusik, Umgangsmusik, Trivialmusik and Popmusik.

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Vincenzo Caporaletti - pag. 169-196

Quali basi epistemologiche per una musicologia della popular music?

This article aims firstly to test the musicological resilience, and possibly probe the limits, of the epistemological field identified by the notion of “popular music” as an object of study. Starting with an examination of the nomothetic value of this formula, it will therefore discuss the conditions of feasibility of this field as an autonomous and distinct entity within the topology of musical experiences and systems. Secondly, it aims to explore the epistemic consistency and methodolog- ical effectiveness of the academic disciplines that are proposed as the privileged, if not exclusive, instruments of study of this field.

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Max Paddison - pag. 197-214

Critical Reflections on the Concept of Popular Music

Defining what is understood by the term “popular music” has always been problematic, and the term has tended to be used in a vague and indistinct way that can encompass a wide range of fundamentally different musics. This article examines attempts to define the concept of popular music, and considers the problems and debates they raise, drawing particularly on the extensive Anglo-American work that has been done in this area since the 1970s.

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