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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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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“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