An interdisciplinary analysis of popular music genres in the recording studio and billboard charts

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McDermott, Courtney
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Music
How do music production techniques play a role in establishing popular music genres? My research illustrates how genres exhibit distinctive sounds and audio production qualities. My findings are based on two case studies: (1) a case study concerning a band known as The Sweet Boys; and (2) a case study involving genre classification in the Western music industry using the Billboard charts. In the Sweet Boys case study, I present evidence of the interconnectedness between genre classification, sociology, music theory, and audio production. In the Billboard case study, I highlight that the use of music information retrieval systems (MIRs) leads to artist saturation, blurred genre boundaries, and the reproduction of gender inequities. I conclude with interviews from professionals working with MIRs. Interviewees support the need to improve genre-based MIRs with the addition of audio features that successfully convey distinct sonic aesthetics of audio production techniques used in Western popular music.
Research Subject Categories::HUMANITIES and RELIGION::Aesthetic subjects::Music , Research Subject Categories::SOCIAL SCIENCES::Social sciences::Sociology , Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Technology and social change , Music -- Social aspects , Musical analysis , Popular music , Popular music -- Analysis, appreciation , Popular music -- History and criticism , Dissertations, Academic