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In this paper, I use 33 interviews with songwriters to explore the relationship between songwriting and emotion, particularly as it relates to the lived and embodied…
In this paper, I use 33 interviews with songwriters to explore the relationship between songwriting and emotion, particularly as it relates to the lived and embodied aspects of emotional experience. I contend that songwriting can be understood as a form of sensual reflection and inquiry, one that synthesizes the emotional and evocative properties of both music and language. For songwriters, the creative process of songwriting serves as an embodied vehicle through which to assign meaning to lived emotional experience and the self. Resultant performances represent an expressive forum in which to communicate the outcomes of this process. For sociologists of emotion, examining the neglected process of songwriting represents an opportunity to extend the study of emotion beyond discursive and dramaturgical approaches, lending fresh insight into the lived, embodied character of emotion.
Campaign songs have been staples of U.S. presidential elections for more than 200 years, but have undergone important changes in not only structure over time, but who uses…
Campaign songs have been staples of U.S. presidential elections for more than 200 years, but have undergone important changes in not only structure over time, but who uses them and why. Following a discussion of the concentration of the American popular music industry and the shift from party-based to ideology-driven electoral politics, a two-dimension typology and hypotheses are formulated to help discern the distinct roles of these institutions in the transformation of the U.S. presidential campaign song. Data was systematically collected on the most prominent songs associated with each presidential campaign from 1788 to the present. In order to provide greater context for the use of songs in presidential campaigns over time, additional newspaper articles were collected for four elections. Results suggest that changes in the structure of the American music industry and the organization of presidential campaigns significantly affect the form of U.S. presidential campaign songs.
This chapter investigates Yiddish-language heavy metal music as a manifestation of postvernacularity. Yiddish, the traditional language of Ashkenazic Jews, is now…
This chapter investigates Yiddish-language heavy metal music as a manifestation of postvernacularity. Yiddish, the traditional language of Ashkenazic Jews, is now endangered with a geographically dispersed speaker base and a low rate of transmission to younger generations outside of strictly Orthodox communities. However, as the heritage language of most Ashkenazic Jews, Yiddish continues to play an important symbolic role in contemporary Jewish life even among those who do not speak or understand it. This phenomenon has been termed ‘postvernacularity’ (Shandler, 2006).
Yiddish is associated with a rich tradition of folk songs, popular songs, and ballads. Recent decades have seen a growing interest among younger generations in Yiddish language and culture, including its musical tradition. In addition to musicians specialising in traditional Yiddish song, there are also currently two bands worldwide who have produced a metal album in Yiddish: Gevolt (Israel) and Dibbukim (Sweden). The repertoire of both bands is comprised largely of classic Yiddish songs interpreted in a metal style but retaining the traditional lyrics and melodies.
The fact that these metal bands often choose to reinterpret traditional staples rather than composing original Yiddish songs can be seen as a reflection of the predominantly postvernacular status of Yiddish. The language plays an iconic role for band members and audiences. Concurrently, the fusion of familiar Yiddish songs with metal style makes a language often associated with traditional Ashkenazic society relevant to the twenty-first century.
This chapter contains a case study analysis on a song by the Spanish heavy metal group Desafío or ‘Challenge’. The lyrics of the song are treated as a poem, and I will…
This chapter contains a case study analysis on a song by the Spanish heavy metal group Desafío or ‘Challenge’. The lyrics of the song are treated as a poem, and I will thus progress toward a linguistic and poetic analysis (Leech, 2013). Songs include many poetic devices, such as personification, metonymy, paradox, tautology, antithesis, and hyperbole (cf. Hewitt, 2000, p. 189). During the aforementioned linguistic and poetical analysis, it will be seen that the song Muerte en Mostar ‘Death in Mostar’ abounds with poetic features. The song begins with personification, for example: ‘The moon reflects in her face the shadows of evil’. Liturgical lexis and bellicose vocabulary also proliferate. Especially active in the song is the notion of an almost religious crusade. For example, one liturgical aspect found in the chorus is where an unnamed protagonist is described within the context of an almost holy war: ‘To his squadron's flag he promised his loyalty / His heart of love would be called by God’. The song goes on to recount the subsequent events and, therefore, this song in fact seems to be a mini-narrative. Finally, I will show how so much literary allusion reveals, in the end, that the song is not about Spain at all but about events that took place during the war of Bosnia–Herzegovina.
This chapter pays particular attention to the place of song introductions as an integral feature of public performance. Locating this analysis within the subculture of…
This chapter pays particular attention to the place of song introductions as an integral feature of public performance. Locating this analysis within the subculture of contemporary folk music, I demonstrate how song introductions can accomplish six important things: (1) provide an interpretive frame for understanding a performance, (2) cast performances in emotive terms, (3) situate performances in the larger context of marketing and sales, (4) contribute to moral entrepreneurial agendas, (5) align the performer's actions, and (6) offer a venue for making disclaimers. By demonstrating how performers accomplish these things, I locate song introductions within the larger context of situating public performances more generally.
We explore how the long-run success of cultural products is affected by the identities of the product's originators and early adopters. Using U.S. jazz recordings from…
We explore how the long-run success of cultural products is affected by the identities of the product's originators and early adopters. Using U.S. jazz recordings from 1920 to 1929, we found that songs were more likely to be later covered from 1944 to 2004 if they followed a pattern of having black originators and white early adopters. Moreover, we provide evidence that this pattern is independent of a song's commercial success, resources available to a song's originators, and group-level indicators such as size and experience. We conclude that late adopters (musicians after World War II (WWII)) were attracted to songs that followed a narrative of both “lowbrow” origins and early adoption by those considered “highbrow” with respect to jazz. The findings also support a new means for considering the role of identities as the building blocks of genres, in particular, and categories more generally.
We use framing theory to analyze songs and poetry from the US women’s movement. Specifically, we utilize frame amplification and transformation as concepts to answer the…
We use framing theory to analyze songs and poetry from the US women’s movement. Specifically, we utilize frame amplification and transformation as concepts to answer the question: did messages in songs and poetry from the women’s movement change as the movement achieved its original goal of suffrage? Furthermore, are there new organizational goals mentioned in musical artifacts from the second-wave feminist movement? And, if so, why? We find that songs became more radical in the second wave of the women’s movement. This shift reflects and reconstitutes the changing concerns of social movement activists. We demonstrate how frame amplification and transformation are important theoretical concepts in explaining the ideological shifts found in songs and poetry from the first- and second-wave women’s movement.
The purpose of this paper is to use a study conducted on the Caribbean island of Jamaica to make the case that music might be a plausible suppressant of negative visitor…
The purpose of this paper is to use a study conducted on the Caribbean island of Jamaica to make the case that music might be a plausible suppressant of negative visitor harassment (VH). The goal of the study in question was to determine the genres of songs and music likely to have a positive effect on emotions the antithesis of the ones associated with VH but would have positive effect on visitors’ shopping behaviors as well.
A mixed method pre-experimental design was used for the study. Forty-two craft traders from a single craft market in Jamaica participated in seven music experiments and the data gathered were analyzed using predominantly paired and independent t-test analyses.
The researchers found that music likely to result in positive shopper behaviors also resulted in positive trader emotions, in particular in emotions the antithesis of those associated with trader harassment. In addition, the researchers discovered that old non-instrumental local songs had a significantly greater positive effect on these emotions than local contemporary songs and instrumental music.
The study discussed was original as it was the first known that looked at music as a possible treatment for negative VH.
Music mood is an important metadata type on online music repositories and stream music services worldwide. Many existing studies on mood metadata have focused on music…
Music mood is an important metadata type on online music repositories and stream music services worldwide. Many existing studies on mood metadata have focused on music websites and services in the Western world to the exclusion of those serving users in other cultures. The purpose of this paper is to bridge this gap by exploring mood labels on influential Chinese music websites.
Mood labels and the associated song titles were collected from six Chinese music websites, and analyzed in relation to mood models and findings in the literature. An online music listening test was conducted to solicit users’ feedback on the mood labels on two popular Chinese music websites. Mood label selections on 30 songs from 64 Chinese listeners were collected and compared to those given by the two websites.
Mood labels, although extensively employed on Chinese music websites, may be insufficient in meeting listeners’ needs. More mood labels of high arousal semantics are needed. Song languages and user familiarity to the songs show influence on users’ selection of mood labels given by the websites.
Suggestions are proposed for future development of mood metadata and mood-enabled user interfaces in the context of global online music access.
This paper provides insights on understanding the mood metadata on Chinese music websites and uniquely contributes to existing knowledge of culturally diversified music access.