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Listening to Popular Music: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Led Zeppelin
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Listening to Popular Music: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Led Zeppelin

2.83 of 5 stars 2.83  ·  rating details  ·  6 ratings  ·  3 reviews
It has long been assumed that people who prefer Led Zeppelin to Mozart live aesthetically impoverished lives. But why? In Listening to Popular Music, award-winning popular music scholar Theodore Gracyk argues that aesthetic value is just as important in popular listening as it is with “serious” music. And we don’t have to treat popular music as art in order to recognize it ...more
Paperback, 264 pages
Published May 2nd 2007 by University of Michigan Press
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When I was just 'snacking' on selected passages in this book, it looked like it was going to be exciting. There are an article's-worth of good ideas in here, but the actual experience of reading the book is mostly a chore. It's never a good sign when someone extensively cites their own books and articles. Gracyk has clearly been hoeing the same row for a long time.
Once you wade through all the academic onanism (I will admit that some of my frustration was with the necessarily graceless precisio
I really enjoyed this book. The authors arguments about high cultures' lack of understanding and appreciation for the aesthetic value of "popular music" is only one of the interesting insights he elucidates. This book goes a long way to authenticating the musical experiences of listeners of all genres of music, not just popular. I highly recommend it as an education in humility for anyone who thinks "their" musical tastes are superior to anyone else.
AJ Conroy
Based on the title, I thought this would be Klosterman-esqe or like Nick Hornby's Songbook. Nope. Reads like an academic journal, which makes sense since most of the chapters were originally published in academic journals. The author's explores the nature of popular music: is it art (whatever that is) and what is its cultural value. Interesting enough, I guess, just not what I expected.
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