Pop–Power–Positions: Engaging with the (Post)Colonial in Popular Music Studies. An Introduction

Popular music is embedded in and connected to our globalized world. A world that is, however, not an equal and fair one. Issues of power, place, and positions play a fundamental role in all aspects of life: It matters in which context, world region, class, or ethnic belonging a person, an institution, a music is situated. The first volume of the IASPM D-A-CH series ~Vibes looks at (global) power relations and representations of differences in popular music (studies). In the introduction the editors argue for the inclusion of postcolonial thought and questions of decolonizing academia into popular music studies. Based on papers held at the IASPM D-A-CH conference in Bern 2018, this volume presents seven articles from various disciplines, discussing education, economics, globalization, and politics.

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„Pop–Power–Positions: Engaging with the (Post)Colonial in Popular Music Studies. An Introduction“ weiterlesen

Data-Based Co-Creation and Participation: Reflections on an Ambivalent Relation by the Example of Music Apps

This paper discusses data-based co-creation initiated by pop music related apps with respect to ambivalences of cultural, social, economic, and political participation. It refers mainly to Armin Nassehi’s (2019) approach on digitization, Klaus Dörre’s (2009, 2019) further development of the concept capitalistic expansion and Karl Polanyi’s (2011 [1944]) ideas on fictitious commodities. Referring to two examples—Fantome Mezzanine by Massive Attack and the feature “Handy-Lightshow” of the app of the German schlager singer Helene Fischer—the paper suggests a dialectic approach to cultural, social, economic, and political participation, and raises questions on employment, distribution, and ownership.

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„Data-Based Co-Creation and Participation: Reflections on an Ambivalent Relation by the Example of Music Apps“ weiterlesen

When “Ojos así” Became “Eyes Like Yours”: Translation as Negotiation of Lyrics, Sound, and Performance by Shakira

Scholarly research on Shakira has focused on image-building and the singer’s transnational performances since the crossover from the Latin American market to global mainstream in 1999 to 2001. In contrast, this essay drives attention to the sound of her songs demonstrating how the singer’s vocal expression changed when she started singing in English. The song “Ojos así,” its various recordings and especially the translation entitled “Eyes Like Yours” are subjects of analyses. Additionally, an overview of the albums released since 2001 indicates that the singer serves the Spanish-speaking and English-speaking markets with diverse (vocal) performances, and multilingualism as well as translation form an important part of Shakira’s artistic production.

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„When “Ojos así” Became “Eyes Like Yours”: Translation as Negotiation of Lyrics, Sound, and Performance by Shakira“ weiterlesen

Zur Doppelstruktur und Ambivalenz der Differenz: Inszenierungen von Anderen im populären Musiktheater, 1890–1930

In den Dekaden von 1890 bis 1930, vor dem allgemeinen Siegeszug der technischen Massenmedien rund um Radio und Musikfilm, dominierte das Musiktheater die europäische und nordamerikanische Popmusiklandschaft. In Kostümen und Masken porträtierten Performer*innen hier eine ganze Reihe an rassistisch überzeichneten Figuren, die ich in diesem Text mit der postkolonialen Denkfigur The Other/Othering als Inszenierungen von Anderen verstehe. Ich gehe den gesellschaftlichen Machtverhältnissen hinter diesen Inszenierungen auf den englischen, deutschen und US-amerikanischen Musiktheaterbühnen nach und rekonstruiere die kulturellen Hegemonien, Spannungen, Identitäts- und Körperpolitiken, die in solchen Darstellungen „verAnderter“ Subjekte zum Ausdruck kamen.

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„Zur Doppelstruktur und Ambivalenz der Differenz: Inszenierungen von Anderen im populären Musiktheater, 1890–1930“ weiterlesen

State Censorship and the Controversy Surrounding the Narcocorrido Genre in Mexico

After briefly presenting the history of the narcocorrido and its censorship in Mexico, we assess the different positions regarding the sanctioning of narco-music from multiple perspectives. Our interest lies in censorship as a social practice, rather than in its legal aspects. We examine how in Mexico, particularly in the state of Sinaloa, such restrictions have been justified and implemented, and analyze the scope and repercussions of censorship policies on the narcocorrido and its practitioners. Furthermore, we examine the interactions and discourses of those involved in the controversy.

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„State Censorship and the Controversy Surrounding the Narcocorrido Genre in Mexico“ weiterlesen

Dance as Political Activism – Two Popular Choreomusical Responses to the Orlando Shooting

The violence perpetrated against queer persons of color in the 2016 Orlando Shooting was met with many collaborative artistic responses. This article considers how the relationship between music and dance amplified the political power of two such responses. The music video for Sia’s “The Greatest” (2016) and the dance video for X Ambassadors’ “Unsteady” (2016) each address the shooting through intricately correlated musical and choreographic structures. Exploring this correlation through a proposed system of choreomusical analysis, the article argues that it is in the overlap of dance and music that each imbues the other with new political power.

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„Dance as Political Activism – Two Popular Choreomusical Responses to the Orlando Shooting“ weiterlesen

“And It Turns Out that It only Has Two Chords”: Secondary School Music Teachers’ Orientations on Dealing with Learners’ Music Cultures in the Classroom in Germany

In this study, we reconstruct German secondary music teachers’ strategies for dealing with learners’ (pop) music culture(s) in music lessons as well as shared implicit and explicit knowledge that underpins this practice and orientates teachers in their everyday teaching. Findings arise from data collected in group discussions analyzed with the help of the documentary method (Bohnsack 2014). Our study shows differences between learners’ and teachers’ (implicit) conceptions of the goals and the content of music lessons in school, especially with regard to the different notions of the value of pop music. It seems to be an everyday practice in school to functionalize pop music and positioning Western art music higher than other musical styles included in lessons. This is combined with an orientation toward the analysis of music as a common modus operandi. Our findings confirm the gap between students’ musical interests and practices in everyday life and school music education. This leads us to discuss the power relations in the educational system and the structures that cause social injustice, as well as new perspectives on music teacher training and music education in schools to face these issues in the future.

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„“And It Turns Out that It only Has Two Chords”: Secondary School Music Teachers’ Orientations on Dealing with Learners’ Music Cultures in the Classroom in Germany“ weiterlesen

What Is Soul?

In diesem Artikel analysiert Dietmar Elflein die Rezeption von Soul in den ausgehenden 1960er Jahren in Deutschland, versucht eine musikalische Analyse des damals mit Soul identifizierten Grooves, spürt den Produktionsbedingungen dieser Musik nach und fragt, was man in Deutschland damals von diesen Produktionsbedingungen wissen konnte. Die zugrunde liegende Methodik beruht auf Quellenrecherche und Höranalyse, deren Ergebnisse in soziale und Akteur-Netzwerke überführt und diskursanalytisch befragt werden. Im Ergebnis wird Soul unabhängig von seinen Produktionsbedingungen in den USA als black music und Tanzmusik konstruiert. Dabei werden neben der Spiritual- und Gospel-geschulten Singstimme die bassbetonten Grooves, einfachen Songstrukturen und die simple Harmonik des Southern Souls synonym mit Soul.

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„What Is Soul?“ weiterlesen