Analysing Popular Music
Image, Sound and Text
- David Machin - Örebro University, Sweden
Popular music is far more than just songs we listen to; its meanings are also in album covers, lyrics, subcultures, voices and video soundscapes. Like language these elements can be used to communicate complex cultural ideas, values, concepts and identities.
Analysing Popular Music is a lively look at the semiotic resources found in the sounds, visuals and words that comprise the 'code book' of popular music. It explains exactly how popular music comes to mean so much. Packed with examples, exercises and a glossary, this book provides the reader with the knowledge and skills they need to carry out their own analyses of songs, soundtracks, lyrics and album covers.
Written for students with no prior musical knowledge, Analysing Popular Music is the perfect toolkit for students in sociology, media and communication studies to analyze, understand,and celebrate, popular music.
This book presents an extremely interesting model for a multimodal analysis of music as a complex text. Machin's examination of the many layers of meanings generated by musical products is original and effective. This will be a very useful resource for students of media and cultural studies, particularly those who are not familiar with the topic. The book will also provide a starting point for reflecting on popular music from a different angle.
Very good, well written, clear and as close to 'relevant' as any printed book can be nowadays!
I found this book an excellent stimulus for the cross-curricular teaching of popular music. The analysis of the artwork on album covers connected popular music to art, advertising, literacy and different cultures. The analysis of the music itself was clear and accessible, particularly to those who may not have a background in musical theory.
This book will definitely be added to the bibliography of the module.
Good starting pint for students trying to understand how to analyse popular music.
Excellent source for students who elect to work on popular music within the course of Cultural Studies, or for those who want to specialize in popular music for their thesis.
Analysing Popular Music: Image, Sound and Text is a book the methods of which is tried at tested with the students who inspired in at the University of Leicester. If you are teaching music to students who have no formal training in musicology but who love the sounds and sights of music, this is the one to have!
Dr. E. Anna Claydon
University of Leicester
The course is structured around three major visual communication domains: political campaigning, conflict reporting, and advertising/PR. "Analysing Popular Music" is an essential reading for the sessions dedicated to analyzing music videos as well as viral videos distributed online. It is also most students' first encounter with multimodal analysis.
This book is engaging and informative, and should provide students with an analytical 'tool-kit' to improve their understanding of the complexities of popular music.
Recommended for the following modules:
BA - 2nd year Marcoms
BA - 3rd year Advertising
BA - 3rd year Branding
MA - Marcoms, Branding and Advertising
An interesting and insightful book, which will help students to consider the role of music in depth. Of particular use to dissertation students