Critical Musicology

A Transdisciplinary Online Journal

National Curricula and the Ethnic in Music

In The Guardian in January 1992 the eminent Scottish composer James MacMillan wrote: "Being white, I am not usually on the receiving end of racial insult but I had a shocking insight into how it must feel last week when ...

Beyond the Transatlantic Model: A Look at Popular Music as if Small Societies Mattered

Early attempts to understand popular music concentrated almost exclusively on the American scene. For Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin, European-born Marxists whose engagement with this subject began in the 1940s, the hits of Tin Pan Alley demanded analysis as part ...

Musical Meaning Revisited: Thoughts on an 'Epic' Critical Musicology

That musical codes can and do carry social values has become something of a semiotic truism in recent years. 'Classical' music - in the narrower sense - is routinely discussed in terms of expressive topics rather than organic unity, and ...

Pulp Philosophy: Nietzsche and the Transvaluation of the Popular

Nietzsche may not, on the basis of a first reading, be the most obvious philosopher to bring into the field of a discussion on popular music. After all, he is most closely associated with the debates surrounding the High Romantic ...

Orientalism and Musical Style

In Western music, Orientalist styles have related to previous Orientalist styles rather than to Eastern ethnic practices, just as myths have been described by Lévi-Strauss as relating to other myths. One might ask if it is necessary to know anything ...

Anachronism, Responsibility and Historical Intension

This article proposes that crucial texts of the high modernist avant garde are marked by the refusal of the mantle of compositional responsibility at all bar the initiation stage, an aesthetic position which has continued into what some would label ...

“I'll Never Be an Angel”: Stories of Deception in Madonna's Music

Through a striking display of paganism, Madonna, like the whore of Babylon, has steadily captured the fascination of our western popular culture at the end of the millennium. The infatuation with idols nowadays is illustrated no better than through the ...


Critical Musicology, hosted by the School of Music at the University of Leeds, is a fully refereed critical musicology journal appearing exclusively on the Internet. Its purpose is to provide a library of texts which address the wide number of issues that have become part of the field of critical musicology. Given the diverse number of practices within critical musicology, Critical Musicology is designed to encompass a plurality of topics, discourses, and methodologies. Rather than dogmatically adopting a single party line, our purpose here is one of pragmatic, inclusive multiplicity.

Publisher University of Leeds
Country United Kingdom
ISSN (Online) 1468-6066
Year started 1997
Indexed 7 articles
Licence Open Access

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