The Complexities of Freedom and Dylan’s Liberation of the Listener

  • Astrid Franke
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Music and Literature book series (PASTMULI)


Astrid Franke’s chapter offers an analysis of freedom (as it relates to vocal shifts/play) in Dylan’s performances—while aligning Dylan’s work with a larger American (and African American) tradition. Focusing on songs from Dylan’s gospel phase and his Sinatra phase, Franke argues that the songs “sound different and are different in different contexts and thereby acquire cultural significance in the moment.” Franke thus invites us “to think a bit more about the many voices of Dylan, both metaphorically and literally.” Throughout, Franke draws on Axel Honneth’s theorizing on the paradoxes of individual freedom as well as from Jane Tomkins’ concept of “cultural work.”


Bob Dylan Freedom Listening Performance African American 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid Franke
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TübingenTübingenGermany

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