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!

Deadline Extended + Additional Info!

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      Christine Boone

      The deadline for proposals has been extended until 11:59 EST on Sunday, June 14.

      Please note – There has not been a decision on whether or not SMT will convene in person in Minneapolis this year. Regardless, this panel discussion WILL happen, either in person, via Zoom, or a hybrid of the two. Please don’t let uncertainties regarding travel stop you from submitting a proposal!

      AMS/SMT Minneapolis 2020:

      Call for Participants in a Panel Discussion hosted by the Society for Music Theory’s Popular Music Interest Group

      Panel Discussion: The Music of “Monstrous Men”: Negotiating Popular Music and the Musicians Who Make It. 

      While the “monstrous men” of the 2017 Paris Review article include artists of many ilks, the recent releases of documentaries Surviving R. Kelly (2019) and Leaving Neverland (2019), alongside highly publicized allegations and trials against prominent pop music figures like Ryan Adams and Dr. Luke have brought renewed attention to abuses within the pop music industry. Within academia, this question has been recently addressed by Will ChengPhillip Ewell, and Ellie Hisama.This discussion will focus on our research and teaching as popular music scholars, educators, and historians. Do we avoid the music of these problematic creators and find other examples to use in our articles and in the classroom? Or do we lean into the discomfort that these examples might provoke and use them as jumping-off points for discussions about power, danger, and prejudice? Additionally, how are these issues articulated in the musical syntax that we study as music theorists?

      We are soliciting proposals for short (5-7 minute) expository arguments, to be followed by a longer panel discussion and question/answer period. Please submit a 300-word proposal to by 11:59 pm (EST) on Sunday, June 14.

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