Sonic Borders Virtual Panel: Barry Shank’s “On Popular Music Studies” from IASPM-US


There are no generic limits to popular music studies.  It is defined by its methods, not its objects. Popular music studies approaches the popular through music.  In this way, it can be distinguished from sound studies, ethnomusicology and other neighboring fields. But this definition requires that we understand the meanings of those keywords—music and the popular.

Music is what we hear when we are engaged in musical listening.  Musical listening is not equivalent to that rarified practice known as “structural listening.”  Musical listening is common and everyday.  It is what happens when anyone discriminates between music and noise.  The ability to make that judgment, to discern the patterning of sound and to assent to the potential pleasure in those patterns, is the fundamental aesthetic judgment.  Once that judgment is made, the sound—any sound at all—has become music. . .  [Reblogged from]

Click here to continue reading today’s installment at IASPM-US.


Sonic Borders Schedule

1/21 – Liana Silva, Sounding Out! – “I’m on My New York Sh*t”: Jean Grae’s Sonic Claims on the City

1/28 – Regina Bradley, Sounding Out! – I Like the Way You Rhyme, Boy: Hip Hop Sensibility and Racial Trauma in Django Unchained

2/4 – Marcus Boon, Sounding Out! – One Nation Under a Groove?: Music, Sonic Borders, and the Politics of Vibration

2/6 – Barry Shank, IASPM-US – “On Popular Music Studies”

2/11 – Tavia Nyong’o, Sounding Out!

2/13 – Theo Cateforis, IASPM-US

2/18 – Tara Betts, Sounding Out!

2/20 – Shana L. Redmond, IASPM-US

2/25 – Art Jones, Sounding Out!

2/27 – Devon Powers, IASPM-US

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