MUSI 1002 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: African-American Culture, Literary Theory, Intertextuality

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9 Aug 2016
MUSI 1002
Oct 13
Shuker ch5
-methods to interpret musical meanings
-how people engage with music and how we interpret meanings varies
-tv programs, books are all texts.
-doesn’t include social media as a form of text interpretation in his chapter
-intertextuality comes from literary theory. A lot of people use it to discuss meanings between different
songs. Ex: different dialogue between original song and cover.
-also looks at discourse within a particular genre. Comparing songs that are branded as being within the
same or different genres.
-pop music texts can reproduce dominant social values or resist them.
-preferred reading is the most common message deciphered from a particular musical text.
-artist might have a particular intent with a song, but if the majority of listeners don’t interpret it in that
way, it does not negate this new interpretation.
Graphic text: cover art. Concert posters, flyers, t shirts. Any visual text associated with artist aside from
video. Shuker focuses on album cover. Album covers are still relevant even if people don’t buy cds.
Album art still shows up in mp3 files when the music is downloaded. Album covert art is associated with
the music. Album covers are a form of advertisement, often convey statement and aid in branding.
Musical: music and lyrical. Tensions about how to interpret sound. Experts were trained to analyse
musical texts using methods that were used to study classical music. This created criticism. Other
experts only looked at sociological aspect of music. Most people now have integrated/interdisciplinary
approach to have more effective understanding of meanings.
Lyrical analysis: deal mainly with subject matter.
-videos are a marketing tool.
-they add new commentary or can be seen as artwork but in the end the goal of the video is to help sell
the song.
-focus on visual imagery. Some critics say it detracts from listening to the song.
-people detract meaning from the song by looking instead of listening
-others say it can augment the meaning behind the song.
Case study
-looking at visual, lyrics alone wont give you full picture. Need to look at all the musical texts associated
with a song.
- mc’s and rap artist often make musical reference to the past. Used for familiarity and homage.
-break beats were often looped. These breaks were great to rap over
-bongo band’s song apache was sampled often. Started in the underground and made its way to the
mainstream. Creates a lineage between artists.
-early dj’s tended towards soul and funk breaks to be sampled. Ties between hip hop and older genres
tied with African American culture. Suggests progression towards new styles all while using their
predecessors’ material.
-NAS song in pre chorus he implies that he is bringing back hip hop anthem. Rap song that makes
important statement. Song would hold meaning and would be easily recognizable.
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