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!

Popular Music Interest Group Award Winners 2020

0 replies, 1 voice Last updated by  Christine Boone 10 months, 2 weeks ago
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    Christine Boone

    The SMT Popular Music Interest Group has two awards to recognize recent research in pop music. The Outstanding Publication Award was established in 2012, and exists to acknowledge the best article, essay, or book involving the theory and/or analysis of popular music by a senior scholar. Since 2013, the PMIG also grants the Adam Krims Award to a junior scholar with an outstanding publication.

    This year’s Adam Krims Award winner is William O’Hara, for his article, “Music Theory and the Epistemology of the Internet; or, Analyzing Music Under the New Thinkpiece Regime,” published in Analitica: Rivista online di studi musicali in 2018. This piece examines the phenomenon of recent articles in the popular press that use music theory, treating it simultaneously as scientifically rigorous, and arcane and mysterious. O’Hara shows that these writings offer fascinating reflections upon music theory as it is practiced in the academy, particularly as it relates to the growing movement to engage with non-specialist audiences.

    This year’s Outstanding Publication Award winner is Robin Attas, for her article, “Music Theory as Social Justice: Pedagogical Applications of Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp A Butterfly,” published in Music Theory Online in 2019. This article offers core music theory instructors opportunities to engage with popular music, to discuss theoretical topics not usually considered in the music theory core, and to diversify the range of composer identities included in classroom repertoire. In this widely applicable work, Attas encourages instructors of all backgrounds, abilities, and institutional settings to consider ways of incorporating social justice into their own classrooms.

    Congratulations, Robin and William!

    This topic was also posted in: Society for Music Theory.

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