Popular Music Reading Response

(650-1000 words)

In this course, we keep returning to the idea that popular music matters to people in various different and complex ways. In the text(s) you choose to respond to, how does music matter, and to whom?

Here are some examples of topics you
could focus on. Please note: These ideas are meant to serve as guidance
and inspiration. You do not have, and will not be able, to answer all
of these questions in such a short assignment:

  • Music may matter to audiences for
    certain specific reasons. What, according to the text(s) you respond to,
    makes listeners enjoy music? How does it impact their lives? How does
    it empower them?
  • Music may matter to musicians and
    others involved in the music industry. What, according to the selected
    reading(s), makes them engage in musical practice? Why is it important
    to them to play (or record, etc.) music?
  • Music may matter to corporations.
    What, according to the selected reading(s), are their stakes in
    releasing and distributing music? How do they assert their interests in
    relation to music?
  • Music may also matter to the
    writer of a specific text for one reason or another. What is important
    and interesting about music for them? Why do they write about it?

Further notes/recommendations (also remember to revisit the syllabus for further information):

  • Be sure to use the space you have
    efficiently. Choosing just one text may be enough if you have strong
    arguments in your discussion of its upsides and downsides. Two
    texts/writers may work well for a comparison.
  • While, of course, short summaries
    of selected texts’/writers’ main arguments should be included in your
    text, be sure to focus on the application of their ideas to your
    examples, and focus on your critical evaluation of these ideas. To quote
    the syllabus: “How do the readings help us to understand the
    relationship between popular music and everyday life? Do these readings
    speak to your personal experience as a consumer or producer of music?
    Are there alternative ways of thinking about what the readings discuss?
    If so, what are they?
  • Be sure to isolate the key
    arguments of the texts you focus on. Don’t feel like you have to explain
    a text’s/writer’s minor lines of thought. Instead, take a reading’s key
    point and engage with it through evidence as well as comparison.

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