Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-66d7dfc8f5-cdn8t Total loading time: 0.439 Render date: 2023-02-08T21:03:45.167Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "useRatesEcommerce": false } hasContentIssue true

The Naturalised and the Surreal: changes in the perception of popular music sound

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  26 March 2013

Ragnhild Brøvig-Hanssen
Affiliation:
University of Oslo, Department of Musicology, Box 1017 Blindern, NO-0315 Oslo, Norway E-mail: ragnhild.brovig-hanssen@imv.uio.no; anne.danielsen@imv.uio.no
Anne Danielsen
Affiliation:
University of Oslo, Department of Musicology, Box 1017 Blindern, NO-0315 Oslo, Norway E-mail: ragnhild.brovig-hanssen@imv.uio.no; anne.danielsen@imv.uio.no

Abstract

In a musical context, the word ‘sound’ implies a set of sonic characteristics. Within popular music, this notion of sound sometimes supplies the very identity of a tune, a band or a musician. Sound is often conceptualised as a virtual space and in turn compared to actual spatial environments, such as a stage or an enclosed room. One possible consequence of this tendency is that this virtual space can become utterly surreal, displaying sonic features that could never occur in actual physical environments. This article concerns the ways in which the increased possibilities for creating a spatially surreal sound, thanks to new technological tools, have been explored within the field of popular music over the past few decades. We also look at the ways in which the effect of such features may have changed over time as a consequence of what we call processes of naturalisation. As a particularly interesting example of the complexity of such processes, we explore ‘the music sound stage’. In addition, we analyse three songs by Prince, Suede and Portishead to reveal the possibly surreal aspects of these productions.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

References

Atkinson, S. 2007. Interpretation and Musical Signification in Acousmatic Listening. Organised Sound 12(2): 113122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Benjamin, W. 1936. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. In H. Arendt (ed.), Illuminations: Essays and Reflections, trans. H. Zohn. New York: Schocken Books, 1968.Google Scholar
Brolinson, P. E., Larsen, H. 1981. Rock … Aspekter på industri, elektronik og sound. Falköping: Gummerssons Tryckeri AB.Google Scholar
Brøvig-Hanssen, R. 2010. Opaque Mediation: The Cut-and-Paste Groove in DJ Food's “Break”. In A. Danielsen (ed.), Musical Rhythm in the Age of Digital Reproduction. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Brøvig-Hanssen, R. 2013. Music in Bits and Bits of Music: Signatures of Digital Mediation in Popular Music Recordings. PhD dissertation, Department of Musicology, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
Camilleri, L., Smalley, D. 1998. The Analysis of Electronic Music: Introduction. Journal of New Music Research 27(1–2): 312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Chanan, M. 1995. Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music. London: Verso.Google Scholar
Clarke, E. F. 2005. Ways of Listening: An Ecological Approach to the Perception of Musical Meaning. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Danielsen, A. 1993. ‘My Name is Prince’: en studie i Diamonds and Pearls. MA thesis, Department of Music and Theatre, University of Oslo.Google Scholar
Danielsen, A. 1997. His Name Was Prince: A Study of Diamonds and Pearls. Popular Music 16(3): 275291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Danielsen, A. 2006. Presence and Pleasure. The Funk Grooves of James Brown and Parliament. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Deleuze, G. 1994. Difference and Repetition, trans. P. Patton. London: Athlone Press.Google Scholar
Dockwray, R., Moore, A. F. 2010. Configuring the Sound-Box 1965–1972. Popular Music 29(2): 181197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Doyle, P. 2005. Echo and Reverb: Fabricating Space in Popular Music Recording, 1900–1960. Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University Press.Google Scholar
Frith, S., Horne, H. 1987. Art into Pop. London: Methuen.Google Scholar
Gibson, J. J. 1979. The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1986.Google Scholar
Lacasse, S. 2000. ‘Listen to My Voice’: The Evocative Power of Vocal Staging in Recorded Rock Music and Other Forms of Vocal Expression. PhD dissertation, University of Liverpool (available at www.mus.ulaval.ca/lacasse/texts/THESIS.pdf; accessed on 16 August 2010).Google Scholar
Michelsen, M. 1997. Sprog og lyd i analysen af rockmusik. PhD dissertation, Copenhagen University (available at www.staff.hum.ku.dk/momich/afhandling.pdf; accessed 16 August 2010).Google Scholar
Monacchi, D. 2011. Recording and Representation in Eco-Acoustic Composition. In J. Rudi (ed.), Soundscape in the Arts. Oslo: NOTAM, pp. 227251.Google Scholar
Moore, A. F. 2001. Rock: The Primary Text: Developing a Musicology of Rock. Aldershot: Ashgate.Google Scholar
Moore, A. F., Dockwray, R. 2008. The Establishment of the Virtual Performance Space in Rock. Twentieth-Century Music 5(2): 219241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moore, A. F., Schmidt, P., Dockwray, R. 2009. A Hermeneutics of Spatialization for Recorded Song. Twentieth-Century Music 6(1): 83114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Moylan, W. 2002. The Art of Recording: Understanding and Crafting the Mix. Woburn: Focal Press.Google Scholar
Read, O., Welch, W. L. 1959. From Tin Foil to Stereo: Evolution of the Phonograph, 2nd edn. Indianapolis, IN: Howard W, Sams, 1977.Google Scholar
Rossing, T. D., Moore, F. R., Wheeler, P. A. 2002. The Science of Sound, 3rd edn. San Francisco, CA: Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
Schaeffer, P. 1966. Traité des objets musicaux: Essai interdisciplines. Paris: Seuil, 1977.Google Scholar
Smalley, D. 1997. Spectromorphology: Explaining Sound-Shapes. Organised Sound 12(1): 3558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Smalley, D. 2007. Space-Form and the Acousmatic Image. Organised Sound 2(2): 107126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Toynbee, J. 2000. Making Popular Music: Musicians, Creativity and Institutions. London: Arnold.Google Scholar
Zagorski-Thomas, S. 2010. The Stadium in Your Bedroom: Functional Staging, Authenticity and the Audience-Led Aesthetic in Record Production. Popular Music 29(2): 251266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zak, A. J. III. 2001. The Poetics of Rock: Cutting Tracks, Making Records. Berkeley: University of California Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Zak, A. J. III. 2010. Painting the Sonic Canvas: Electronic Mediation as Musical Style. In Amanda Bayley (ed.), Recorded Music: Performance, Culture and Technology. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Discography

Portishead. 1997. ‘Half Day Closing’. On Portishead. London: GO! Beat Records, 5391892.Google Scholar
Prince. 1986. ‘Kiss’. On Parade. Minnesota: Paisley Park Records/Warner Bros, 2-25395.Google Scholar
Suede. 1996. ‘Filmstar’. On Coming Up. London: Nude Records/Columbia, 67911.Google Scholar
6
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

The Naturalised and the Surreal: changes in the perception of popular music sound
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

The Naturalised and the Surreal: changes in the perception of popular music sound
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

The Naturalised and the Surreal: changes in the perception of popular music sound
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *