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The Genealogy of a Song: Lady Gaga's Musical Intertexts on The Fame Monster (2009)

  • LORI BURNS, ALYSSA WOODS and MARC LAFRANCE

Abstract

Lady Gaga's work is noted for her references to the work of other artists and is often criticized for borrowed content that is perceived as exceeding mere generic norms. In this study, we engage closely with the musical and lyrical content of two songs from her extended play release, The Fame Monster (2009), with the goal of identifying and interpreting the intertextual pathways that led to these works. Relying upon theories of intertextuality, we unearth a network of texts invoked in each of her songs and consider these connections to comprise a musical genealogy, invoking Foucault's conception of genealogy as the process of revealing historical knowledge.

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