Popular Music History, Vol 1, No 1 (2004)

Histories and complexities: Popular Music History Writing and Danish Rock

Morten Michelsen
Issued Date: 4 Feb 2007

Abstract


The article deals with the few existing contributions to popular music historiography and discusses ways to develop these on the basis of contemporary musicology and ethnomusicology. Michelsen calls for a deconstruction of culturally homogenizing notions of history by sketching out a theoretical framework for investigating the actual cultural complexity lying behind historical representations. A “complexification” (which includes working with several concepts of music, regarding music cultures as continuously floating, and with an eye for the constant othering processes taking place) is necessary in order to avoid the traditional traps and canonizations of history writing's teleological narratives. The last part of the article is a preliminary discussion of how the rock–pop split affected Danish rock culture, questioning whether the split articulated by a hegemonic rock discourse actually had much influence on musicians’ and audiences' daily music lives, and pointing to the complexity of actual lived music culture.

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v1i1.19

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