chapter  6
22 Pages

C hapter 6 P olitics and P opular M usic

Within the fi eld of popular music studies, the notion of “politics” typically denotes either political songs or protest music in the world of pop music. Also, it seems that when politics and music are explicitly mixed, a listener is in for either tunes that work as a “struggle against dominant institutions like the state and economic system” (Balliger 1999: 57) or for music that serves to support existing values, like offi cial national anthems such as “God Bless America” or Quebec’s patriotic hymn, “Gens du Pays.” To limit a discussion of politics in music to these genres is, however, unwise. More insightfully, instead, we can say that music (popular and otherwise) has a political structure and polity-forming capacity of its own.