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How do we listen to popular music in Europe?

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Abstract:

In this reflective article, I endeavour to raise a number of questions concerning popular music reception in contemporary Europe. First, popular music is described as a form of human communication where, it is argued, the verbal message should not be too easily overlooked. In this sense, I present two paradigms of listening to popular music: one, which is centred on the music and another, which is verbally focused. Drawing from several examples, the ways in which the verbal message in a song is appropriated by an individual or by a community are shown to be determined by complex factors, among which vernacular culture and language are crucial. For this reason, in the multilingual and multicultural European context, the study of the reception of popular music needs to draw on modern language, cultural and translation studies.

Keywords: Anglophone music; European popular music; Non Anglophone music; listening; popular music reception; verbal text lyrics

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1386/jepc.4.1.29_1

Affiliations: Universidad Complutense de Madrid

Publication date: April 1, 2013

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  • The Journal of European Popular Culture investigates the creative cultures of Europe, present and past. Exploring European popular imagery, media, new media, film, music, art and design, architecture, drama and dance, fine art, literature and the writing arts, and more, the journal is also of interest to those considering the influence of European creativity and European creative artefacts worldwide.
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