Type: Elective course
Curriculum: Mass Media
Music is explored as a form of mass communication and as a type of social practice by presenting, analyzing and discussing several examples (radio, TV serial, film, music video and commercial samples).
The relation between music, mass communication and the media is analyzed in its both aspects, "vertical" and "horizontal" (music as a form of mass communication and music in mass media). The main features and characteristics of music as a form of mass communication are analyzed. The course presents the development of music into an integral part of the system for the production, distribution and reception of symbolic forms in modern societies (music publishing, recording, transmission and detachment from material carriers, development of the music industry with an emphasis on recording).
The functions of music in various mass media are also analyzed and discussed. A special emphasis is placed upon the relation between music and motion pictures (cinema and television). The relations between the recording industry, the music press, the advertising, the radio and the internet are explored. The issues discussed include also the impact of the mass media on the musical taste and reception and the impact of the music on the interpretation of intermediated messages.
The course is advanced, as it needs a background offered in courses already taught (history - general and of the mass media, theory of mass communication, media economics, sociology of mass communication, social psychology of the mass media).
- Comprehension of the importance and significance of this specific form of artistic communication even in a news program.
- To contribute for a better understanding of the multi-faceted and complex character of communication phenomena - especially those based on symbolic forms of aesthetic nature.
- To understand the functions of music in various mass media.
- To improve understanding of how mass communication revolutionizes the creation and reception of art, while at the same time it changes the aesthetic views and also the meanings and values that have some impact on the individual and social life.
Kostas Mylonas, Music and the Cinema. Athens: Kedros, 1999.
The additional literature is usually modified and customized through consultations, depending on the topic chosen by the students for each essay and on the current syllabus. The following literature is indicative (for the television, the radio and the music press). Some texts are accessible through the campus net, while others are available in the library:
- Reebee Garofalo (1999), "From Music Publishing to MP3: Music and Industry in the Twentieth Century". American Music, 17(3): 318-353.
- Claudia Bullerjahn (2006), "The Effectiveness of Music in Television Commercials. A Comparison of Theoretical Approaches". In Music and Manipulation. On the Social Uses and Social Control of Music (Steven Brown, Ulrik Volgsten eds.), σελ. 207-235. New York, Oxford: Berghahn Books.
- Nicholas Cook (1994), "Music and Meaning in the Commercials". Popular Music, 13(1): 27-40.
- Leonardo Boccia (2005), "Key Measures: Music and Sounds in the Most Important TV Stations of Four Countries". In Visual Hegemonies. An Outline (Peter Ludes, ed.), σελ. 68-95. Münster, Hamburg, Berlin, Wien, London: LIT Verlag.
- Journal Popular Music, 21(3), 2002. Special issue "Music and Television".
- Keith Negus (2006), "Musicians on Television: Visible, Audible and Ignored". Journal of the Royal Musical Association, 131(2): 310-330.
- Theodor W. Adorno (1996), "A Social Critique of Radio Music". Kenyon Review, 18(3-4): 229-235 [Kenyon Review, 7(2): 208-217].
- Frank Biocca (1990), "Media and Perceptual Shifts: Early Radio and the Clash of Musical Cultures". Journal of Popular Culture, 24(2): 1-15.
- Jarl A. Ahlkvist, Robert Faulkner (2002), "'Will This Record Work for Us?': Managing Music Formats in Commercial Radio". Qualitative Sociology, 25(2): 189-215.
- David Hendy (2000), "Pop Music Radio in the Public Service: BBC Radio 1 and New Music in the 1990s". Media, Culture & Society, 22(6): 743-761.
- Keith Negus (1993), "Plugging and programming: pop radio and record promotion in Britain and the United States". Popular Music, 12(1): 57-68.
- Jarl A. Ahlkvist, Gene Fisher (2000), "And the Hits Just Keep Coming: Music Programming Standardization in Commercial Radio". Poetics, 27(5-6): 301-325.
- Roy Shuker (2001), Understanding Popular Music. London, New York: Routledge. Chapter 5: "On the Cover of the Rolling Stone. The Music Press", pp. 83-98.
- Jayson Toynbee (1993), "Policing Bohemia, Pinning Up Grunge: The Music Press and Generic Change in British Pop and Rock". Popular Music, 12(3): 289-300.
- Matt Brennan (2006), "The Rough Guide to Critics: Musicians Discuss the Role of the Music Press". Popular Music, 25(2): 221-234.
- Keith Negus (2002), Popular Music in Theory. An Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press. Chapter 3: "Mediations", pp. 66-98.
The evaluation is based on essays of 2.500-3.000 words. The topics are defined in consultation with the instructor during the weeks 9 through 11. They are based on the scope of the course and on the issues analyzed and discussed during the semester. The course outline (provided each semester) can be used as a topics list, but it is not exclusive, leaving space for additional proposals. Additional literature and support is provided through consultations.
The evaluation is influenced by the participation in the course during the semester and the collaboration for the assignment (10%), but it is mainly determined by the soundness of the final essay (90%): consistency and clarity of structure, academic style of discourse and relevance with the course topics, quality of the chosen sources and use of references, quality of documentation. Essays must comply with the guidelines provided in the teaching page.
Information about the next exam session, exam dates and essay due-dates can be found in the announcements page (provided that the exam dates have been announced).