Popular music in the context of contemporary cultural studies: formation and academization of popular music studies

Publication type Article
Status Published
Occupation: Research Assistant
Poletayev Institute for Theoretical and Historical Studies in the Humanities
Department of History, National Research University “Higher School of Economics”
Address: 12, Petrovka st., Moscow, 107031, Russian Federation
Journal nameObshchestvennye nauki i sovremennost
EditionIssue 5

The paper focuses on emergence of contemporary popular music studies in the tradition of cultural studies, stages of this new disciplinary fi eld formation and basic controversial issues. Traditional fi elds in musical studies are musicology and sociology of music, each of these disciplines developed a certain view of music covering the different sides of ‘musical’, and approaches to its analysis. Nevertheless, interest in popular music phenomenon and development of the academic tools for its analysis are associated primarily with cultural studies focused on the study of contemporary popular cultural forms. For a long time the status of popular music has been disputed by rerearchers of ‘traditional’ disciplines, questioning their legitimacy and scientific character. Discussions about the nature of popular music initiated by new musical researchers in the 1980s had a signifi cant impact not only on the formation of understanding popular music as a complex cultural phenomenon, but development of new fi eld, popular music studies. Also it signifi cantly transformed ‘traditional’ musicological disciplines. The author examines the process of popular music studies academization and its features as interdisciplinary project, which has become the basic approach for understanding, analyzing and problematization of popular music. 

Keywordspopular music, musicology, musical sociology, cultural studies, popular music studies, formation of new disciplinary field
Publication date17.10.2015
Number of characters1411
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