CMS 367 9-9-08 - CMS 367 Rhetoric of Popular Music Tuesday...

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CMS 367 Rhetoric of Popular Music Tuesday 9-9-08 I. Matula and the Context of Music a. Review i. Defining rhetoric 1. The study of how signs and symbols influence people to do things that they normally would not do/ think 2. History of democracy ii. Mass culture debates 1. Mass culture: a. Mass culture emerged from a consequence of geographical locality b. Newspapers circulated – people shared popular culture c. Popular culture – being close to larger groups of people 2. Debates : a. Was mass culture produced for the people or comes from the people? Or is it from both? iii. Kirshner’s “cosmopolitan ethnography” 1. Attempts to get at how individuals derive meaning from a popular song b. Studying music in rhetorical studies: background i. Focus on lyrics 1. When looking at popular music, scholars focus on lyrical content in 1970’s until the 1990’s when people abandoned the lyrics 2. Why, why would the research into lyrics be unhelpful when discussing popular music? a. The problem is that lyrics is only one small meaning of the whole piece – the lyrics could mean any number of things to any number of people b. Also, we turn lyrics into something that is not intended i. Ex: Led Zeppelin – Stairway to Heaven 1. Misheard lyrics vs. Original Lyrics ii. People use the music for their humor 1. Ex: Blinded by the Light c. Lyrics are personal. ii. Focus on music (ex: semiotics, musicology) 1. Identifying various aspects – giving them a sign and interpreting what those meanings are.
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iii. Matula: focus on style, context, “intertextuality” 1. Intertextuality – the idea that texts are not discrete or singular, but all texts include references
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This note was uploaded on 01/20/2009 for the course CMS 367 taught by Professor Browning during the Fall '08 term at University of Texas.

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CMS 367 9-9-08 - CMS 367 Rhetoric of Popular Music Tuesday...

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