Expanding Approaches to Popular Music Analysis


Many have explored the analytical and theoretical interconnections that popular music shares with classical music, but relatively few studies examine popular music’s connection to contemporary art music. Expanding Approaches for Popular Music Analysis explores the premise that much popular music has either borrowed concepts from 20th and 21st century art music, or developed similar compositional techniques independently. Of course, the connection flows both ways since contemporary art music frequently borrows compositional elements associated with popular music.

The project stems from work presented and discussed in the popMAC 2013 conference at University of Liverpool, and subsequent dialogue between international scholars whose shared goal is to develop new ways of analysing popular music and art music, using techniques that are either new, or that cross-over from other areas. The findings will be published in a book entitled The Routledge Companion to Expanding Approaches for Popular Music Analysis. Edited by Dr Kenneth Smith (IPM, University of Liverpool), Dr Ciro Scotto (Ohio University), Dr John Brackett (University of North Carolina), and expected in 2017, the book involves contributions from over 30 scholars from across the world.

“One consequence of eroding the boundary dividing popular and art music is that techniques developed for the analysis of popular music may offer a fresh vantage point for the analysis of contemporary art music.” (Dr Ciro Scotto)