The impact of Western popular music transcends its origins in composition, recorded artefact and concert performance. Popular music and politics are inextricably linked. In just a few decades, popular music has [re]defined [sub]cultures, influenced politics & policy and empowered minority groups. Drawing upon extensive examples and contemporary scholarship, this course explores how and why contemporary popular music is one of the most widespread, meaningful, and influential cultural phenomena in the world today. Avoiding a chronological or historical approach, this course examines the political significance of popular music through a variety of cultural and contextual lens, including music aesthetics, textual analysis, race, gender and sexuality. Cultural-theoretical backdrops include a consideration of sound recording technology, ethnomusicology, feminism and ‘queer theory’. Case study examples taken from broad genre spectra will illuminate the social impact of popular music and its relationship[s] to particular cultural themes such as identity, censorship and violence.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
1. Describe the interrelationship[s] between popular music, culture and politics from several theoretical perspectives;
2. Evaluate the role, significance and influence of popular music in cultural and political contexts;
3. Speculate on the potential influence of popular music on the culture[s] and politics of the future;
4. Analyse popular music using appropriate tools and descriptors specific to the discipline;
5. Demonstrate research, written and oral communication skills on the culture and politics of popular music
One critical analysis of an allocated album/ text. [50%]
-- Deliverable: 3000 words written critical analysis. [Learning Outcomes 1, 4, 5]
One paired presentation on a chosen popular music theme (15 minutes). [50%]
-- Deliverable: One e-presentation with embedded multimedia materials. [Learning Outcomes 2, 3, 5]
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WorkloadA mixture of lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops equivalent to three hours per week, plus seven hours of independent study per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsBennett, A. (2001) Cultures of Popular Music. Open University Press.
Middleton, R. (1990) Studying Popular Music. Open University Press.
Moore, A. (2012) Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. Ashgate.
Negus, K. (1996) Popular Music in Theory - An Introduction. Polity Press.
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|3399||20 Jul 2015||07 Aug 2015||31 Aug 2015||30 Oct 2015||In Person||N/A|