This post is part of my series on Pop, Power & the Vocal-Subject
In the Introduction, I outlined three theses concerning the way in which pop music is experienced as meaningful by its audience. The first part of this series focuses on the first of these theses:
On recorded pop tracks, the vocals constitute a distinct 'vocal-subject' in relation to a non-vocal, musical 'situation'.
For each thesis, I will try to demonstrate a) how they are implicated in notions of power and control, b) how they can be used in analysis and criticism of pop music, and c) how this can inform hearings of political music, as well as political hearings of music. Part One is by far the most theoretical, philosophical section of the series, in that I try to explain what I actually mean by these terms, and how they might compare to existing theories of musical phenomenology: not only in the academic realms of musicology, philosophy and cultural studies, but also in everyday fan discourse and journalistic pop criticism.