Beautiful Monsters: Imagining the Classic in Musical Media / Edition 1

Beautiful Monsters: Imagining the Classic in Musical Media / Edition 1

by Michael Long
Pub. Date:
University of California Press
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Beautiful Monsters: Imagining the Classic in Musical Media / Edition 1

Beautiful Monsters explores the ways in which "classical" music made its way into late twentieth-century American mainstream culture—in pop songs, movie scores, and print media. Beginning in the 1960s, Michael Long's entertaining and illuminating book surveys a complex cultural field and draws connections between "classical music" (as the phrase is understood in the United States) and selected "monster hits" of popular music. Addressing such wide-ranging subjects as surf music, Yiddish theater, Hollywood film scores, Freddie Mercury, Alfred Hitchcock, psychedelia, rap, disco, and video games, Long proposes a holistic musicology in which disparate musical elements might be brought together in dynamic and humane conversation. Beautiful Monsters brilliantly considers the ways in which critical commonplaces like nostalgia, sentiment, triviality, and excess might be applied with greater nuance to musical media and media reception. It takes into account twentieth-century media's capacity to suggest visual and acoustical depth and the redemptive possibilities that lie beyond the surface elements of filmic narrative or musical style, showing us what a truly global view of late twentieth-century music in its manifold cultural and social contexts might be like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520257207
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 10/02/2008
Series: California Studies in 20th-Century Music Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 328
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents



Part One. Registering the Classic
1. The Expressive Vernacular
2. Making Overtures
3. Yiddishkeit and the Musical Ethics of Cinema

Part Two. Envisioning the Classic
4. Hearing Monsters
5. The Fantastic, the Picturesque, and the Dimensions of Nostalgia
6. Listening in Dark Places
7. Concertos, Symphonies, Rhapsodies (and an Opera)

Conclusion: Sitting Down with Mnemosyne
Selected Bibliography


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