Music and Art - Week 6

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  • 1. Department for Continuing Education Music and Art Marilou Polymeropoulou marilou.polymeropoulou@music.ox.ac.uk Week 6 21/2/12 Popular Culture http://musicandartoxford.wordpress.com/Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 2. Previously • Definitions of art and music • Aesthetic theories • Impressionism, symbolism • Avant-garde, expressionism, futurismSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 3. Today • Popular Culture • Dancing • Jazz • Bad musicSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 4. • Popular Culture • CultureSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 5. Culture • Raymond Williams defines culture as: • 1) “a general process of intellectual, spiritual and aesthetic development” - cultural development of W. Europe: philosophers, artists, poets • 2) “a particular way of life, whether of a people, a period or a group” - W. Europe: literacy, holidays, sport, religious festivals • 3) “the works and practices of intellectual and especially artistic activity” - W. Europe: signifying practices, poetry, novel, ballet, etc but also: comics, soap opera, pop musicSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 6. Popular Culture • “Popular Culture is the arts, artifacts, entertainment, fads, beliefs and values that are shared by large segments of society.” • Quantitative • What is the role that it plays in our lives? • ExamplesSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 7. R. Lichtenstein - Drowning Girl (1963)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 8. Pop art: representing popular culture A. Warhol’s Marilyn’s prints - experimentation - ironySaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 9. Foxtrot • Named after dancer and comedian Harry Fox who popularised this type of dance • Inspired by African American culture • Music used: ragtime (ragged, syncopated rhythm, popular in late 19th early 20th century)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 10. • Ragtime example: Scott Joplin’s “the entertainer”Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 11. “Foxtrot” used in rock n’ roll releases (‘50s)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 12. Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 13. Strictly come dancing • US Version “Dancing with the stars” • BBC One, 15/5/2004 • Most popular talent show, Best talent show, Best variety show awardsSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 14. Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 15. Jazz • Music and dance • “Popular dancing is an extremely important cultural activity, for bodily movement is a kind of repository for social and individual identity. The dancing body engages the cultural inscripting of self and the pursuit of pleasure, and dancing events are key sites in the working and reworking of racial, class, and gender boundaries.” Robert Crease 2002 • Popular in the ‘20sSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 16. Appropriate social Repetitive and codified dancing Improvisational and sensualTraditional ballroom dances (upper Popularised torso, waist, hips) Rag, tough, animal Jazz dancing in historydances (use of whole body) Avant-Garde dancing Cabarets, brothels, clubsSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 17. Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 18. Example #2 Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring Sacrificial dance (the chosen one)“Difficult to understand”, “displeasure”, “lacked melodic and sonic qualities the audience expected”, “primitive”Saturday, 25 February 2012
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  • 22. “I think ‘popular’, you may not” Richard Middleton, musicologistSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 23. “Jazz is too brisk for the average listener to understand” Scott DeVeaux, MusicologistSaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 24. Adorno “From the middle of the 19th century on, good music has renounced commercialism altogether. The consequence of its further development has come into conflict with the manipulated self-satisfied needs of the bourgeois public”. Culture industry Commodification High/Low art Good/Bad music Popular culture Subculture Avant-Garde (mainstream) (marginalised)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 25. Bad music • Simon Frith • “I can’t persuade someone that the music they like is bad unless I know their tastes, the way they make sense of their listening pleasures.”Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 26. • 1) Tracks which are clearly incompetent musicallySaturday, 25 February 2012
  • 27. • 2) Tracks organised around misplaces sentiments or emotions invested heavily in a banal or ridiculous object or tune. (Jess Conrad’s My pullover)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 28. “As it stands, the concept of popular culture is virtually useless, a melting pot of confused and contradictory meanings capable of misdirecting inquiry up any number of theoretical blind alleys”. Tony Bennett (sociologist)Saturday, 25 February 2012
  • 29. • “For black people, Elvis more than any other performer epitomises the theft of their music and dance”. Helen Kolaoke, The Guardian 2002Saturday, 25 February 2012