Matter and Form in Popular Music

  • Alison Stone


Matter and Form in Popular Music argues that popular songs' material parts typically coalesce into wholes at the level of their meanings. Melody and harmony do not have any privilege in this process, but songs’ elements interact under all musical parameters, such as timbre, texture, rhythm, and production. Examples from The Beatles and R.E.M. illustrate this. The chapter argues that because songs as meaningful wholes arise from their interacting material parts, form emerges from rather than dominates materials in popular music, and that this gives popular music aesthetic value.


Popular Music Musical Work Popular Song Melodic Contour Chord Sequence 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alison Stone
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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