Valtakunnallisen humanistisen verkko-opetuksen tarjoamat verkkokurssit
The State of Sound: Popular Music and Nationality
Methodological PhD student level course in Moodle.
3 Nordic countries (Finland, Danmark, Norway), max 15 post-graduate students.
Why pop and nation?
It is often claimed that music knows no boundaries. With mass-mediated popular music, this argument truly rings the bell: ever since the rise of the modern music media and industry, the world’s popular music has been characterized by the growing internationalization of its sound. Yet at the same time other cultural and social powers have been at work, too. Somehow they often seem to be in connection with local and national communities. Borderlines are drawn. Rap music is known world-widely but how come people in Nordic countries know so little about, say, Polish rap? Or hiphop scenes in their neighbouring countries? If heavy metal is an international and very popular rock genre so why there are so few, if any, Viking metal groups in Belgium?
To answer these questions, we should keep in mind that music is an important vehicle for the construction of the objective reality of the social world. It can in its various forms of reproduction and mass-mediation represent the constructed national or ethnic collectivities. During the age of globalisation, it has become evident that this argument not only applies to traditional forms of music such as classical music and folk music but also to modern popular forms such as pop, rock, and hip hop. Even though popular music often may not have clear sonic references to what is understood as ‘national’, it still may be considered as something that represents a sense of community and nationality.
The State of Sound will cast an analytical and critical eye on the multifaceted relationships between popular music and nationality. The course is based on the idea that popular music is a telling example of how transnational forms of culture may play significant role in constructing and challenging national identities.
I Introduction: setting the stage
II Media and history
III National themes I:
Mythologies and history (3 groups)
IV National themes II:
Place: local and global (3 groups)
GROUP EXERCISES + VIRTUAL SEMINAR IN FRIDAY (REPORTING WEEKS III & IV)
V Identities: Gender, ethnicity
VI Outro: New State of Sound
VIRTUAL SEMINAR IN FRIDAY, PREPARED SPEECHES
+ FEEDBACK DISCUSSION, CHAIRED BY TUTORS
Mode of teaching
PhD student level, post-graduate
Janne Mäkelä, Kimi Kärki
Nordisk virtuellt nätverk for historia, Finnish Virtual University of History, International Institute of Popular Culture