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Musical pastiche, embodiment, and intersubjectivity : listening in the second degree


Popular music studies, since its inception, has been centrally concerned with the ways music participates in processes of individual and collective identity construction. This dissertation argues that the field must also be concerned with the ways music participates in processes that counter the existential effects of identification. I argue that perception of music as imitation and, more specifically, a form of perception I refer to as "the event of pastiche," is often a significant force in the service of such non- identificatory processes. Through discussions of music perceptible as imitations of 1950s rock & roll, 1960s French pop, 1970s "stadium rock," and 1980s electrofunk, and discussions of the practices of mashup, sample-pop, and chiptune music, I locate the conditions through which musicians and listeners have used sound to foster thought and feeling that they simultaneously affirm as the property of some Other. I offer conclusions based both on textual analysis of recorded and live musical "works" and discourse analysis both from written sources and field research. The dissertation offers new frameworks for the understanding of musical imitation and opens the field of popular music studies to the study of a social function, non-identificatory practice, previously untheorized in the field

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