[Smt-talk] Pop Music And Theory

Dr. Fred Bashour dufaydigital at att.net
Thu Dec 11 10:10:15 PST 2014

I like that: “making the collective unconscious conscious.”


I remember my dissertation advisor, Alejandro Planchart, back in New Haven during the early seventies, telling us how he “gave dissonant counterpoint lessons” to Frank Zappa.  I should ring him up and ask him to elaborate.  It certainly makes sense; I can’t imagine how scores as “difficult” as Zappa’s could have been written by a completely intuitive, “unschooled” composer, untouched by academia and music theory.


However, when I was first introduced to the “art stream/pop stream” dichotomy during an undergraduate music class in the late sixties (bundled with an obvious value judgment), it didn’t sit well with me then, and it still doesn’t.  Creativity is one thing; execution is something quite different.




Fred Bashour


Dufay Digital Music

Leverett, MA  01054


From: Smt-talk [mailto:smt-talk-bounces at lists.societymusictheory.org] On Behalf Of Donna Doyle
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2014 8:45 AM
Cc: smt-talk at lists.societymusictheory.org
Subject: Re: [Smt-talk] Pop Music And Theory


Dear all,


It helps to remember that the brains behind Michael Jackson was Quincy Jones, who studied with Nadia Boulanger. It also helps to remember that periodic phrase structure has been around since King David sang the Psalms and monks in the 13th c wrote reams of rhyming poetry. Let's call "intuition" by its right name--the collective unconscious. Making it conscious is academia's job. Thanks be to God : )


Best regards,

Donna Doyle


Aaron Copland School of Music

Queens College--CUNY



On Dec 10, 2014, at 10:44 PM, CARSON FARLEY <ccfarley at embarqmail.com> wrote:

Is it possible that the relevance of Pop music relies more on an intuitive and aural tradition and that the attempt to analyse it and dissect it from a classical theoretical perspective misses the point entirely?   


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.societymusictheory.org/pipermail/smt-talk-societymusictheory.org/attachments/20141211/fa7cfc60/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the Smt-talk mailing list