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Article Review on the Popular Musicology and Its Value on Socialization

1.0 Introduction 

The topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization is essential not only for the academic purposes, but for the entertainment reasons. While there are various books that have delved into the issue of musicology, it is essential to know their conclusion in terms of analysis. For the reasons of the review, this article will focus on the book entitled The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology by Scott in 2016 as the first source for analysis and Developing a musicology of rock by Moore and Martin as the book for comparison. It is essential to learn that musicology as a learning concept has been instrumental in creating the space for socialization among the people involved. Thus, it is essential to analyze the contribution of musicology to socialization. However, in identifying and creating the analysis, it is vital to consider the pieces of literature and their opinions on the same. Thus, as will be observed in this discussion, there is the delving into the various assertions by different authors and their contribution on the same. Notable is that the peer review sources will be compared in terms of their analysis and conclusions on musicology and its connections to the socialization concept. Noteworthy is that the analysis through various authors and drawing of the insights from the books should be compared and reviewed for comprehensiveness. As will be highlighted in this paper, the review entails the analysis of peer-reviewed sources and their connection with the topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization.

2.0 Summary of the Articles

2.1 The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology

The author asserts that the popular musicology fuels musicality as a concept to understand the aspects within the musical texts. In connection to the topic of the value of popular musicology in socialization, the author opines that there are various and numerous theoretical models that popular musicologists draw from sociology. There is higher diversity in musicology, making finding a party connected to particular popular music (Scott 2016, p.2). The United States is currently standing out as one of the countries with higher recognition for the musicology concept to the extent that the citizenry engages in the learning process. As a matter of connecting to the value of popular musicology in socialization, it is essential to learn that the theme of musicality is creating interaction of people at the learning and implementation stages. Popular musicology as a theme can be identified as a branch and subset of critical musicology. However, the author confirms that it is more interested in a particular area than the other known genres and regions. In connection to socialization, the author contends that an increasing number of people and audiences are trooping in to conform to the ideals of popular musicology.

The article has been divided into two main categories in which one is involved with the question of identity, ethnicity and place. On the other hand, there is the classification in terms of musical genres, artists and albums. In connection to the value of popular musicology in socialization, the book is categorical in pointing out that popular musicology is ensuing cultural and social dominance. The author points out that popular musicology is confined and focused on the specific area of recorded music. However, he quickly asserts that there are chances for the concept to broaden up to include more broad categories in the musical world. The definition of the term popular proved to be a hurdle as the term pointed at various scopes of understanding and insight. As opined by the author, popular music is essential for designating and taking the studies of cultural theories in the past (Scott 2016, p.5). Further, it should be recognized that the concept of musicology was more concerned with the establishment of the closer link between social class and popular meanings. According to the author, moral outrage in connection to popular music has a long history, from waltz to gangster rap. The author concludes that despite the evidence demonstrating that popular musicology is the way cultural features are used, it builds identity and cultural competencies.

2.2 Developing a Musicology of Rock by Moore and Martin

The author asserts in this case that popular musicology recognizes the field of music studies linked to renowned pop music. Further, there are assertions that popular musicology is concerned mainly with music for commercial and entertainment purposes. In this context, the authors are more determined to find and locate music practices, meaning, and values through cultural contexts. The authors, in this case, have identified and excellently categorized the music styles into various classes. Popular musicology can be classified as western music or non-western music at the general level. On a specific note, the classification can be grouped as Dixieland jazz style, as distinct from jazz style in general. When the music is looked at from the perspective of rock, there is the element of expression of emotions, authenticity, and feelings (Moore and Martin 2018, p.6). Thus, in this context, there is the expression of popular musicology in terms of the cultural identities and classification in line with the style recognized by different societies. For instance, the rock for the western world and its meaning for the same.

The authors, in this case, are more inclined and interested in the critical analysis of the music itself. Further, there is the endeavor by the authors to ensure that they establish the connection of the music to the values and cultural perspectives. There is the rapid and versatile evolvement of the tools used in the critical analysis of popular music. It is essential to consider that understanding popular musicology from intercultural and transcultural platforms has been instrumental in understanding the social context of the music. A musicologist of popular music is oriented and drawn to the side through training by specific subject matter that he recognizes. It is essential to look at musicology from all perspectives, not only to confine it to the traditional angle, which has full concept critics. The music consumers can be categorized into various classes, including immanent who are considered those who inhere the music. Also, the poetic categories have the responsibility of appearing at the vantage point of the producers. Lastly, the esthetic is more concerned with the appearance of musicology in the public domain (Moore and Martin 2018, p.8). The rule of various popular musicology is dictated by the cultural attachment and difference in the composition and consumption of such songs. The authors asserts that the popular musicology should be compatible with the social responses it is expected to have and defined in general terms.

3.0 Critique and Analysis of the Sources

3.1 The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology

The author of the book has exuded higher level of understanding in the concept of popular musicology and its value to the socialization. Specifically, the strength in the book is picked from the point where the author’s popular musicology is aimed at understanding the music texts. While the author delves more into the academic parts and understanding of the concept, it can be linked to the value of socialization in a broader overview. For example, the author contends that higher diversity of musicology makes it to find parts in connection to particular music. It is easily conceivable that the book has highly and comprehensively pointed out the academic views of popular musicology by stating including theoretical models. Notable is the connection between the author’s view and the topic where he says that concepts are drawn from sociological disciplines and activities. The current adequacy of listening and consuming popular music where people are confronted with older music is a concept of musicalization in progress (Lepa et al., 2020, p.191). From the immediate assertions, it is evidenced that musicalization is gradual and indiscriminative. Thus, it is understood that the author is evident in the theoretical aspects of popular musicology and its connection to socialization. Further, the strength of the article is noted on it expounding on the theoretical models academically and its explanation on the gradual process of musicalization.

Even though the book is instrumental in pointing out the connection between the popular musicology and its value in socialization, the gap exists in its application in practical context. Specifically, the book is inclined to the academic and confined to the contribution of the concept to the theoretical platform. Considering the topic on the value of popular musicology on socialization, the book is not adequate in providing practicality and direct link on the topic. The argument is that despite the disclosure of inclinations and social characteristics in the research, it is vital that we get experience on how popular musicology changes the people (Haynes and Nowak 2021, p.450). On the same note, there is the understanding created by the author that there is the soaring popularity of musicology in the United which makes it to be focused in a given country. A more concerning aspect is the idea that there is contradiction in various assertions provided by the author in the book. For example the author states that popular musicology can be regarded as a subset of critical musicology. On the other hand, there is the claim that there is diversity in the musicology making it to have application in different concepts and genres.

While there are point outs on the strengths and gaps for this particular article, the most remarkable standpoint is that popular musicology draws various theoretical models from sociology. On the same note, the notable point is that popular musicology is driven by critical musicology, which is driven by the urge to understand the meanings embedded in the musical texts. On the verge of ensuring that there is realized value of socialization, it is crucial to contending that people should know the musical texts and meanings of the musical context. In terms of the area of focus on the value of popular music on socialization, it is confirmed that the theoretical ideas are relevant and instrumental in the connection of the variables. For instance, the theory model is an academically proven concept in terms of applicability making the mentioning in the text directive and specific. Even though it is confirmed that the theoretical concept is essential for understanding the topic, the element of practicality and applicability is equally essential. The standard theories of learning are more inclined to acquire identifiable knowledge and skills in a stable and definable manner (Engeström 2001, p.137). Therefore, it is within the confines of facts that the book has been crucial in showing and demonstrating the importance of theoretical understanding of sociology on various variables.

3.2 Developing a Musicology of Rock

From the book above, it is recognized that the author points out that popular musicology is more inclined to the renowned musical genres in the entertainment world. On the same note, popular musicology is in most cases concerned with commercial and entertainment purposes. There is the strength noted from this assertion when looked at from the perspective of the value of popular musicology in socialization. Specifically, the author gives a precise contribution of the popular musicology concept in the current entertainment and commercial world. In popular musicology, the noted points of economic exploitation and sociopolitical importance led to the exclusion of disadvantaged people in society (Morrison 2019, p.785). Thus, it is recognized that the authors Moore and Martin were elaborate and factual in pointing the contribution of popular musicology on the entertainment and commercial world. Additionally, the strength of the book concerning the value of popular musicology in socialization is confirmed when the author opines that popular musicology should comply with specific social responses. The essence of this is that it can have a definite and identifiable identity in larger contexts. Therefore, there is the connection of popular musicology on entertainment and commercialization which gives the strength to the relevance with the value of popular musicology in socialization.

Nevertheless, there are noted weaknesses in the assertions particularly in line with the value of popular musicology in socialization. For example, the authors claim that there is versatility in terms of the evolvement of the tools used in the critical analysis of popular music. From the specific viewpoint, it is not clear on the tools and the precise genre of the music. Besides, it could have been excellent if the authors compared their conclusion in terms of time and period. For instance, the information age has seen various musicology concepts evolving from the traditionally known environments to the current modern spaces. Fanatics can influence the circulation of a given piece of art including popular music using the information and data from social media. With the increase in the use of social media and digital platforms, it has come to be realized that fans can play part in the decision-making of popular musicology (Zhang and Negus 2020, p.500). The fact that the authors in the book Developing a Musicology of Rockdid not identify the tools and the media left a gap in their analysis and findings. Additionally, the authors are more confined to the analysis of the specific genre of music in this case rock as opposed to a broader spectrum of musicology. Therefore, it is improbable to objectively create an understanding of the value of popular musicology in socialization.

Regardless of the strengths and gaps identified in the book, it is appropriate to state that it has comprehensively given an insight on the value of popular musicology in socialization. Notable is that the strengths supersedes the gaps within this particular context of the topic. Notable is that the book is precise in creating the understanding of popular musicology out of the academic context and building on the reality picture. Additionally, the book is more into the practical context and creating the understanding and insight on the relationship between the popular musicality and the features of the social and economic environment. Popular music is considered as one of the manifestations in the popular culture because it is identified by people in their younger age then later in life through films and entertainments (Kondracka-Szala and Michalak, M., 2019, p.23). From this immediate point out, it is appropriate to give credit to the authors Martin and Moore in that they confirmed the broadness of popular musicology. Specifically, it is clear in their claims that the popular musicology is more essential for the functions of music such as entertainment and commercialization of the same. Moreover, it is within the context of entertainment which makes the concept of musicology more compatible to the idea of socialization among the people.

4.0 Comparison of the Articles to the Main Point of Argument

The main point of discussion, in this case, is the value of popular musicology on socialization in various scopes of life. It is critical to understand that socialization in the music context is first ensured through the participation of different people in society. Considering the arguments by Scott (2016), there is diversity in popular musicology, making it difficult to differentiate it from the popular culture. In essence, the author asserts a connection between popular musicology and diversity, leading to the understanding that there is the aspect of participation by various people. On the other hand, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin states the concept of popular musicology in entertainment and commercialization. In the commercialization of popular musicology, there is a division where cultural participation and oral performance are changed to commodities (Lange 2015, p.106). The conclusion provided by Moore and Martin on commercialization is not adequate in giving musical participation. Further, it is informed by the secondary influences of music emerging from social constructs such as culture. Thus, it is appropriate to claim that acknowledgment of popular musicology in terms of diversity gives more room for participation in return, ensuring socialization.

Additionally, popular musicology creates value in socialization by increasing the cultural cohesion by people of the same society meeting together in the events. For instance, during the football matches at the global stages, there is the singing of the national anthem. It is easier to spot people, including the fanatics singing along to the anthem, thereby observing uniformity. Scott (2016) confirms that cultural sociology dominated popular musicology in the beginning and has remained the center of influence in the analysis (Scott, 2016, p.3). It is essential to realize that the book is creating an excellent narrative between the concept of culture and popular musicology to the extent that the relationship can be witnessed. On the other hand, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin is silent on cultural perspectives of popular musicology. Instead, the authors contend that popular musicology is concerned with the aesthetic value and contribution to the musicology concept (Martin and Moore, 2018, p.6). Regarding the value of musicology on socialization, it is precise that Scott has created an understandable position on the culture and popular musicology. According to socialization, culture plays an essential role in bringing people together, particularly when music is involved.

On the same note, socialization is attained through popular musicology by enabling people to understand what others are thinking in various societies. It is easier to understand the thinking and beliefs through music, for instance, by looking at the lyrics. The assertions by Scott is that popular musicology is concerned with the critical aspect of the concept. Critical musicology is driven by the urge to develop an insight into the meanings embedded in the musical texts. When recording the musical document, it is essential to note its semantic and broader meaning to understand the contexts (Calvo-Zaragoza and Pacha 2020, p.8). From the precincts of understanding, it is precise that the texts of a given song, when written in a language that is not understandable to a given group, might not make sense. However, Developing musicology of rockby Moore and Martin is categorical to classify the popular musicology in terms of economic, ethnic, and commercial perspectives. Thus, in comparison between the two sources in terms of understanding other members of the society, there is an element of complementarity. For instance, Scott’s Ashgate research companion to popular musicology is concerned with the popular musicology being conscious of music text. On the other hand, Moore and Martin emphasize the classification of music on ethnic lines to understand the two.

Lastly, Scott asserts that popular musicology is a subset of critical musicology unlike Moore and Martin who engages the theme in context of different cultures not academic formation. In the first article by Moore and Martin, there is the expression of the theme of musicology in line with its impact on the cultural and emotional expression. However, looking at the second article by Scott, there is the identification of popular musicality as a form of academic engagement where the students are embroiled in a context where they are driven by the urge to understand the meanings of musical texts. Thus, in the connection with the topic on the value of popular musicology in socialization, the article by Martin and Moore is more elaborate. Specifically, the article is precise on the impact of various categories of music in the society especially in the social context. Another notable difference is in the expression of the popular musicality in the societal context where Scott attributes the expression of the theme in the United States alone. On the other hand, Moore and Martin are expressing the concept in the context of different societies and cultures including the western and non-western societies. Notable is that there is the space for incorporation of the western culture in the various societies including Korean system to ensure a new style of art including dancing (Lee 2021, p.1402). It is within the context of the popular musicology that the socialization is brought into the precise understanding.


In conclusion, the two sources have expounded on the theme of popular musicology in relation to its value in socialization. Notable is that the main book for the review by Scott has given more relevant connection with the main topic of discussion in this article. For instance, the point out on the musical text through the concept of critical musicology is essential in creation of understanding towards the learning of various norms and cultures of other people. Thus, in the context of socialization, the new knowledge crated in the article by Scott is more relevant. On the other hand, Moore and Martin in their assertions are more contradictory and are marked by many gaps thereby crippling their assertions and conclusions. The value of popular musicology is attributed to its contributions on the socialization which is more conforming to the assertions by the authors. This article endeavored to find out the contributions of the popular musicology on the socialization and the society in the broader context. The conclusive remarks is that the theme of popular musicology is contributing adequately to the understanding of the socialization. It is recognized within the two sources that the theme of popular musicology is more on the practicality and academics which Scott has elaborated excellently than Moore and Martin.


Calvo-Zaragoza, J., Jr, J.H. and Pacha, A., 2020. Understanding optical music recognition. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR)53(4), pp.1-35. Retrieved from:

Engeström, Y., 2001. Expansive learning at work: Toward an activity theoretical reconceptualization. Journal of education and work14(1), pp.133-156. Retrieved from:

Haynes, J. and Nowak, R., 2021. We were never cool: Investigating knowledge production and discourses of cool in the sociology of music. The British Journal of Sociology72(2), pp.448-462. Retrieved from:

Kondracka-Szala, M. and Michalak, M., 2019. Popular music in the educational space of Polish preschools–the teacher’s perspective. International Journal of Music Education37(1), pp.22-42. Retrieved from:

Lange, B., 2015. Folk Music and Commercialization in Danubian Trances and Boheme. Dancecult: Journal of Electronic Dance Music Culture7(1), pp.97-115. Retrieved from:

Lee, J.W., 2021. Olympic Winter Games in Non-Western Cities: State, Sport and Cultural Diplomacy in Sochi 2014, PyeongChang 2018 and Beijing 2022. The International Journal of the History of Sport, pp.1-22. Retrieved from:

Moore, A.F. and Martin, R., 2018. Rock: The primary text: Developing a musicology of rock. Routledge. Retrieved from:

Morrison, M.D., 2019. Race, Blacksound, and the (Re) Making of Musicological Discourse. Journal of the American Musicological Society72(3), pp.781-823.

Scott, D.B. ed., 2016. The Ashgate research companion to popular musicology. Routledge. Retrieved from:

Zhang, Q. and Negus, K., 2020. East Asian pop music idol production and the emergence of data fandom in China. International Journal of Cultural Studies23(4), pp.493-511. Retrieved from:


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