Meaning and Affect in Popular Music

  • Alison Stone


Meaning and Affect in Popular Music looks at how popular music conveys meanings, including emotional meanings. The chapter argues that this occurs through semiotic processes, informed by Kristeva. This gives popular music continuity with the semiotic domain in which bodily-based and affective meanings emerge for human infants. The chapter engages with debates about how far popular music’s meanings are social and cultural, arguing that these meanings have both conventional and non-conventional aspects. Joy Division’s ‘Transmission’ and the Sugarhill Gang’s ‘Rapper’s Delight’ are used as examples. The latter also illustrates the importance of re-use, re-contextualisation, and intertextuality in popular music.


Popular Music Emotional Quality Popular Song Musical Feature Chord Sequence 
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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