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To what extent do you agree or disagree with Adorno’s argument that popular music is standardized and homogenous? Can you think of examples that wou

1. To what extent do you agree or disagree with Adorno’s argument that popular music is standardized and homogenous? Can you think of examples that would support or contradict his argument? Do you agree or disagree with Adorno that listeners passively consume popular music?

2. From the Storey reading, discuss the Roland Barthes concept of “grain of the voice.” How persuasive do you find the concept? Can you think of your own example of an artist to which it could apply? Address how you would apply it to the Adele video. Do you think it can be applied to instruments as well as vocals? Could you apply it to the Prince Rock Hall of Fame video with his infamous guitar solo?

[the Adele video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHXjxWaQs9o]
[the Prince video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdfMh8QgJjA; Prince only comes in at the end, so you need to hang on and wait for him to get there.]

3. Questlove argues that collecting music can be an act of creation itself. Do you agree or disagree? What kind of meaning do you bring to music just by providing your own context for it? Does this personal act of collecting link up with larger acts of cultural memory making? Is making a streaming playlist of songs like an act of curation and making larger cultural memory? Questlove also writes that collecting music is very meaningful to him personally. Do you have any music you collect, either via playlists and streaming or through physical copies (vinyl records or CDs)? If you were going to collect music, what musicians or bands would you include, and what do they mean to you?

4. Do you agree or disagree that the delivery system for music matters to audiences? Do you have a different experience of listening to your favorite singer if you hear them on a vinyl record versus listening to them on a streaming platform? Do you agree or disagree with Nelson and Macintosh that listening to vinyl records is still popular because it is a multimodal experience?

5. Analyze how you think Johnny Cash as a performer in this video is projecting ideas of authenticity. How does he try to appear genuine and believable? How does he try to make a fictional character appear believable, and how does the video try to link it with Cash’s own life?

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