Dr. Matthew BaileyShea, music theorist

Venue: Cook Recital Hall

Photo of Matthew BaileyShea
Matthew BaileyShea, music theorist

What’s in a Line? Expressive Tensions in Popular Song

Poets often create wonderful tensions by juxtaposing lines with regular, predictable patterns against lines that are far more erratic. Songwriters often create similar effects, but they manifest much differently in music than they do in poetry. Indeed, we sometimes can’t even be entirely sure what constitutes a “line” in popular song. This paper considers these issues from a variety of angles, looking at examples from rock, rap, jazz, and musical theater.

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