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Thank U, Next: Hooks in Popular Music Studies

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Hooks in Popular Music

Abstract

In Chapter 3, we focus on the previous academic research that has looked at hooks. As such, we focus on the study by (Burns, Popular Music 6:1–20, 1987) in detail, as this is the most in-depth previous look at hooks in the literature; we identify it as the most suitable starting point for an analysis of hooks. We will then discuss the history of popular music analysis, highlighting the debates on how best to understand popular music with the tools possessed by academia. Given the nature of popular music, there are limitations to the use of traditional techniques more suited to classical music. Thus, we explore the history of alternative techniques of analysis that have been developed, such as Tagg’s (1982) semiotic analysis of popular music, and the soundbox diagrams used by (Moore, Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song, Routledge, 2012) to highlight the sonic nature of a recording. We argue that the academic study of popular music has often focused on rock music, a genre of popular music that has some differences to mainstream pop music; as such, we suggest that methods of analysis focused on mainstream pop music are needed, and that the analysis of hooks would be a suitable way to study much mainstream pop music. Subsequently, we analyse the way that hooks have been discussed in the academic literature on pop music, noting the diversity of academic writing that either discusses hooks in depth (e.g., Kronengold, Popular Music 24:381–397, 2005; Traut, Popular Music 24:57–77, 2005), or which has interesting insights into hooks as part of attempting to understand different aspects of music (e.g., Brackett, D. (1995/2000). Interpreting Popular Music. University of California Press./2000; Bradley, The Poetry of Pop, Yale University Press, 2017).

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Correspondence to Tim Byron .

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Byron, T., O’Regan, J. (2022). Thank U, Next: Hooks in Popular Music Studies. In: Hooks in Popular Music. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-19000-1_3

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