1 The academic study of popular music
The academic study of popular music (Popular Music Studies) is a relatively recent development within music. Up until a few decades ago (roughly the 1980s), the academic study of music (at school, university or conservatoire) focused upon Western classical music. This has broadened out considerably since the 1990s, and popular music is now a staple part of the academic study of music. Popular Music Studies often pays considerable attention to the social, cultural, and political contexts within which popular music is produced and consumed, rather than necessarily focusing upon the musical notes themselves. This course follows this approach. Its central question is not whether the musical grammar of 1960s American popular music was in itself revolutionary, but rather the impact of a period of apparent social revolution on the ways in which popular music was produced and consumed.