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The Cambridge Companion to the Singer-Songwriter
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Book description

Most often associated with modern artists such as Bob Dylan, Elton John, Don McLean, Neil Diamond, and Carole King, the singer-songwriter tradition in fact has a long and complex history dating back to the medieval troubadour and earlier. This Companion explains the historical contexts, musical analyses, and theoretical frameworks of the singer-songwriter tradition. Divided into five parts, the book explores the tradition in the context of issues including authenticity, gender, queer studies, musical analysis, and performance. The contributors reveal how the tradition has been expressed around the world and throughout its history to the present day. Essential reading for enthusiasts, practitioners, students, and scholars, this book features case studies of a wide range of both well and lesser-known singer-songwriters, from Thomas d'Urfey through to Carole King and Kanye West.


'… lead[s] the reader to analyse big themes in music: genre, race, gender, societal trends and industry machinations.'

Jeanette Leach Source: Shindig!

'There is emphasis on singer-songwriters from the LGBTQ community. Including detailed notes, this fascinating survey will have something for anyone interested in the topic.'

R. D. Cohen Source: Choice

'The editors are clear in their introduction that this companion is aimed both at readers who like and perform and engage with popular music and also at students and teachers and researchers involved with formal (and informal) study of popular music. By this token, implied themes such as gender and sexuality, race and politics emerge regularly throughout the work, and these are used to explain and illuminate the singing-songwriting creative act itself.'

Stuart Hannabuss Source: Reference Reviews

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  • 4 - Singer-songwriters and the English folk tradition
    pp 55-66

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