Lade Inhalt...

Manifestations of Collective Identity in Country Music - Cultural, Regional, National

Masterarbeit 2011 113 Seiten

Musikwissenschaft - Systematische Musikwissenschaft


All American music reflects the landscape from which it springs – and as that landscape changes, chewed up by the developments and industry and environmental disasters, as the air we heave in and out of our lungs is filled with new particles, as the water we drink gets its fluoride levels regulated and mineral content tweaked, it makes perfect sense that American music becomes slicker, more machinated, less like reality. We are all subject to our environs, fashioned and chiseled and sanded into shapes We have highways for arteries and clouds for brains and sticks for bones, The sounds we make are Americana.
As one of the first musical expressions of the United States, country music represents the values and ideals on which the nation was founded. Country music can be seen as the epitome of the American Dream. It has its origins in the 19th century, when cowboys were working in the fields and riding through the lonely prairie, an image that has been romanticized by numerous Hollywood movies. This thesis focuses on country music as a genre as well as the identity which it represents and by which audience and performers are linked. Country music can be regarded as the music of Southern working class Americans. Since before the Civil War, the South has always been looked down upon as being primitive, simple-minded, and extremely religious. Having its roots in the South, country music has had to face substantial criticism in terms of unsophistication and over-sentimentalization. Due to a shift in national economic power, the United States have become increasingly Southernized, both culturally and musically. Southern culture and identity have become desirable. This phenomenon allowed country music to shed its dubious reputation and gain popularity across the country. This paper will shine a light on the American South as a cultural region that has more to offer than what meets the eye. Southern working class culture and its core values are going to be described and put in context with country music as a form of cultural expression. Central themes in American country music are family, love, heartbreak, work, friends, religion, and patriotism. Characteristic for the country music genre are its narrative structures, which by telling a story, enhance its ability to form a collective identity as well as a connection between the narrator, the performer, and the audience. However, country musicians are not solely messengers of the […]


ISBN (eBook)
705 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Philipps-Universität Marburg – Außereuropäische Sprachen und Kulturen, Studiengang North American Studies
collective identity country music cultural manifestation regional national



Titel: Manifestations of Collective Identity in Country Music - Cultural, Regional, National