Defining popular music
towards a "historical melodics"
Alexander Veselovsky, the father of formal methods and semiotics, defined "historical poetics' as the study of the role of tradition in individual creativity; this can be applied to music studies, in order to explain the relationship between repetition and originality and better define popular music, in its differences with; folk and classical music, respectively. The theory of "primitive syncretism" can show how new musical genres and styles often arise from older ones through the separation of their secondary features. The distinction between motif and plot, with its explanation of complex elements as composition of smaller ones, provides parallels with many popular music structures (riffs; chorus/bridge/verse; chord progression, etc.).
Mazzanti, S. (2019)., Defining popular music: towards a "historical melodics", in I. Medi, M. Dumnić Vilotijević & I. Medić (eds.), Contemporary popular music studies, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 17-26.
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