Analysing Popular Music: Image, Sound and Text by David Machin

By David Machin

Popular tune is way greater than simply songs we take heed to; its meanings also are in album covers, lyrics, subcultures, voices and video soundscapes. Like language those components can be utilized to speak complicated cultural rules, values, suggestions and identities.

Analysing well known tune is a full of life examine the semiotic assets present in the sounds, visuals and phrases that contain the ‘code ebook’ of renowned track. It explains precisely how well known song involves suggest loads. filled with examples, workouts and a thesaurus, this e-book offers the reader with the data and abilities they should perform their very own analyses of songs, soundtracks, lyrics and album covers.


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Elements that are further back may become subordinate. On the Big L sleeve he is foregrounded, although the people in the background take up more of the space. Album Iconography Focus 49 The Burt Bacharach photo on the Oasis sleeve is positioned in the foreground.

From what has been discussed throughout this chapter it is clear that commercial activity sits in conflict with our idea of the creative artist who communicates something of the soul through their godgiven raw talent. The big record companies are interested in profit maximisation. There is in principle, therefore, a difference of interest. Artists might be manipulated by their record label, become seduced by monetary gain and therefore ‘sell out’. Worst of all, some bands become the product of a label, deliberately designed and marketed to appeal to particular listeners.

The camel and the art style itself, Hesmondhalgh (1995) would point out, connotes the discourse of traditionalism or primitivism that stems from Romanticism, which is typical of how we see ‘ethnic music’. Of course, on this cover, as with many of the others, colour is very important. This is dealt with in depth the next chapter. Settings Finally we look at the way that settings are used to get general ideas across, to connote discourses and their values, identities and actions. We can see the meaning potential of setting if we compare the Clannad, and Clash sleeves.

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