Mashing through the Conventions: Convergence of Popular and Classical Music
Alina Kiryayeva, Music
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Mark Spicer
Project Website: Mashing through the Conventions: Convergence of Popular and Classical Music
A rich history of borrowing in Western music, expanded with the capabilities of digital technology in the last decades, has fueled a multi-genre, multi-cultural prolific array of configurable music. This project explores a particular form within this field- mashups of Western classical and popular music. Focusing on the production and reception of classical/popular mashups, facilitated by audio and video recordings as central modes of transmission, this research will provide a detailed analysis of the intertextual relationships between the original works used in the mashups and between production and reception of these works. Exemplifying musical, stylistic and technological features utilized in the mashups of several leading contemporary artists, I will attempt to define and categorize the musicological aspects, and contextualize the aesthetic, communicative, and social implications of classical/popular genre synthesis. Data gathered from media sites such as Spotify, Youtube, and ITunes will demonstrate how the coalescence of opposing genres creates conflicting listeners’ responses, preventing stereotypical audience reactions to the symbolic attributes of these disparate genres. Upon presentation of my findings I will offer an alternative path to understanding new musical aesthetics and social dynamics of reception of re-emergent art and attempts to bridge the divide between perceived cultural values of classical and popular fields.