Killing me softly with his song: an initial investigation into the use of popular music as a tool of oppression

Cloonan, M. and Johnson, B. (2002) Killing me softly with his song: an initial investigation into the use of popular music as a tool of oppression. Popular Music, 21(1), pp. 27-39. (doi:10.1017/S0261143002002027)

Full text not currently available from Enlighten.

Publisher's URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0261143002002027

Abstract

Popular music studies generally celebrate the power of music to empower the construction of individual and social identities, a site of positive self-realisation. But such an approach risks overlooking a significant element in the musical transaction. How, for example, did the inhabitants of Jericho feel? Or President Noriega when musically besieged by US troops in Panama City? Or street kids in Wollongong, New South Wales, driven out of shopping malls by the strategic broadcasting of Frank Sinatra recordings? Every time we applaud the deployment of music as a way of articulating physical, cognitive and cultural territory, we are also applauding the potential or actual displacement or even destruction of other identities. On occasions that displacement may well be conducted as an act of extreme violence: music as pain. This negative side of the territorialism of music, however, receives little attention in popular music studies, even though it is potentially the dark side of any musical transaction. In attempting to redress the balance, this article is a ‘trailer’ for a joint investigation into the use of popular music as a weapon. It represents our initial attempts to think through some of the issues surrounding popular music and its use as a tool of repression and the deliberate inflicting of pain.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cloonan, Professor Martin
Authors: Cloonan, M., and Johnson, B.
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
College/School:College of Arts > School of Culture and Creative Arts > Music
Journal Name:Popular Music
ISSN:0261-1430
ISSN (Online):1474-0095
Published Online:09 April 2002

University Staff: Request a correction | Enlighten Editors: Update this record