Founded in 1998, the Popular Music Interest Group is dedicated to promoting the scholarly study of popular music through methods including musical analysis and theory. Our goals include:
• Ensuring academic recognition for popular music research
• Encouraging more scholars of music theory to engage popular repertoires
• Encouraging scholars of popular music to make effective use of musical analysis and theory

On our Humanities Commons site, we rely on our members to help edit this resource — this cooperation will help continually improve the presence of popular music in our classrooms and scholarship. Many thanks!

Contour Segments in Pop?

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by  Brian Robison 7 months, 2 weeks ago
  • Author
  • #39555

    Keith Salley

    Hi everyone, hope you’re doing well.

    I realize it may be too busy right now to expect replies, but I’ll try:

    Does anyone know of any good examples from pop for teaching contour segments (csegs)? I’m teaching a kind of generalized hybridized ‘music after 1900’ course that combines pop, jazz, and Western art music (Wam). Wanted to try this topic, and realized that I hadn’t really located examples outside of jazz and Wam.

    Anyway, it’d be nice to throw something at them that my teenage students might already be familiar with—to get the conversation going.

    Thanks in advance for anything! (I’m not against more general contour equivalencies, such as Friedmann’s CAS, but would prefer cseg-level correspondences if poss.)




  • #42454

    Brian Robison

    I take it you’re looking for examples less than a decade old?

    Both SZA’s “Broken clocks” (2017) and Azealia Banks’s “Anna Wintour” (2018) include melodic sequences that are constructed from pentatonic scales … so, the generic melodic intervals don’t necessarily match, but the csegs do.

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