Metaphor as a communication strategy within a pop music recording setting
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My area of research is the figurative language used by artists/songwriters, musicians, producers, and sound engineers when working together in the studio to record a pop album. The aim of this dissertation is to explore the metaphors occurring in the participants’ musicspeak both to refer to sound events and to negotiate musical solutions. The project is part of the growing tendency to research popular music without being limited to “music as text” (music as a product solely of sound or score), but rather including the culture that surrounds the music. It also joins another growing tendency to research popular music from a sociological angle, looking at the interplay and interaction of human communication mechanisms in a real and current setting where the researcher is part of the culture under research. This interdisciplinary project deals with follows a sociolinguistic route into music performance, and reads and interprets the way participants use dialogue (i.e. the way participants use and exchange metaphorical linguistic expressions) that is closely knitted to sound events. Figurative language is looked at from an interactive point of view; the way it is used in a socio-cultural context, embedded in a dialogue process, and not as an individual cognitive device for producing and processing “image concepts.” The research data is presented and discussed mainly in terms of “conceptual metaphor theory” and “blending theory.” Because the project focuses on the linguistic dialogical content, this dissertation may prove interesting and relevant to people engaged in communication as a general topic, as well as those who are directly involved in music or music-related activities: music students, musicians, songwriters, producers, members of the music industry in general, and scholars within the field of popular music research.
Dissertation for the Degree of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) at the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Agder Specialization in Popular Music Performance. Kristiansand 2013