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dc.contributor.convenorDr Brydie-Leigh Bartleet
dc.contributor.authorCarfoot, Gavin
dc.description.abstractPopular music studies encompass a wide variety of attitudes toward the concept of "theory," including many different ways that theory has been defined, applied, critiqued and created. Two typical approaches to theory are represented in Lawrence Grossberg and Simon Frith's work. Grossberg claims to be "disappointed" with popular music studies, an attitude that stems from his belief that the discipline has failed to contribute to broader debates in the theoretical humanities. In particular, Grossberg laments the alleged inability of popular music studies to engage in theoretical critique of its own project, describing the discipline as "interdisciplinary and yet with no theoretical anxieties and no political pressures" (Grossberg, 2002, p. 54). In a "cheerful" defence of popular music studies, Frith describes what he sees as the positive achievements of "empirical" approaches. To Frith, the theory that Grossberg advocates has a number of characteristics, one of which is "a level of abstraction that makes it impossible to relate its descriptive nouns to anything in musical experience that could be so described" (Frith 2004: 367). In both cases, the writers reinforce an opposition between theoretically informed popular music studies on the one hand, and more empirical studies on the other hand. The meeting of these oppositional threads provides a prime site for critique, not least of all because both writers are formative figures in the history of the discipline. Critiquing this opposition also allows us to gain a broader understanding of the ways in which scholarly encounters between thinkers tend to be "played out" in popular music studies, and in music scholarship more broadly.
dc.publisherNo data provided
dc.relation.ispartofconferencenameIslands: Annual Conference of the Musicological Society of Australia
dc.relation.ispartofconferencetitleIslands: Music Research in Australia and New Zealand
dc.relation.ispartoflocationQld Conservatorium Griffith University
dc.titleDisappointed or Cheerful? Popular Music Studies and Critical Theory
dc.typeConference output
dc.type.descriptionE3 - Conferences (Extract Paper)
dc.type.codeE - Conference Publications
gro.facultyArts, Education & Law Group, Queensland Conservatorium
gro.hasfulltextNo Full Text
gro.griffith.authorCarfoot, Gavin

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