Tracking Popular Music History with an Aesthetic Map

  • Alison Stone


This chapter looks at the impact of aesthetic values on the making of popular music and especially the division between ‘rock’―supposedly serious, authentic, and creative―and ‘pop’―supposedly manufactured, formulaic, and ephemeral. After explaining key historical statements of these aesthetic values, the chapter looks at their impact on progressive rock, punk rock, especially Wire, and efforts to reclaim pop by synth-pop bands of the early 1980s, especially the Human League. The chapter concludes that aesthetic values cannot be abandoned but that we need a new aesthetic of popular music.


Emotional Expressiveness Aesthetic Experience Popular Music Aesthetic Pleasure Popular Entertainment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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