This course introduces students to the analysis and interpretation of popular music. The course is centered around innovative practices of close reading that have emerged over the past two decades in the wake of paradigm shifts and repertorial expansions in musicology and music theory. Students will encounter the broad range of ways in which music scholars have addressed popular music and become knowledgeable about some of the most commonly recurring issues in its interpretation. They will also learn skills for forming their own critical interpretations, including the ability to identify and explain significant features of individual popular works. A wide range of musical styles will be discussed, although the course is not intended as a historical survey.

Semester: WiSe 2021/22