Recommend to your Librarian

Popular Music Genres

An Introduction

Stuart Borthwick, Ron Moy

Hardback i (Printed to Order)

An accessible introduction to the study of popular music, this book takes a schematic approach to a range of popular music genres, and examines them in terms of their antecedents, histories, visual aesthetics and socio-political contexts. At the centre of each chapter is a textual analysis of key examples of the genres concerned: soul, psychedelia, progressive rock, reggae, funk, heavy metal, punk rock, rap, synthpop, indie, jungle. Within this interdisciplinary and genre-based focus, readers will gain insights into the relationships between popular music, cultural history, economics, politics, iconography, production techniques, technology, marketing, and musical structure.


  • Introduces key terms and concepts in the study of popular music
  • Includes recommended further readings and audio texts at the end of each chapter
  • Provides a glossary of key theoretical terms for reference.


1. Soul: from gospel to groove
2. Funk: the breakbeat starts here
3. Psychedelia: in my mind's eye
4. Progressive rock: breaking the blues' lineage
5. Punk rock: artifice or authenticity
6. Reggae: the aesthetic logic of a diasporan culture
7. Synthpop: into the digital age
8. Heavy metal: noise for the boys?
9. Rap: the word, rhythm, and rhyme
10. Indie: the politics of production and distribution
11. Jungle: breakbeat's revenge

About the Author

Stuart Borthwick is a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University.

Ron Moy is a lecturer at Liverpool John Moores University. For the past ten years, he has devoted himself to the delivery of a range of undergraduate courses, and now runs a degree programme in Popular Music Studies.


Popular Music Genres offers a different introduction to the study of popular music. Key to the book is the notion of genre… It is a welcome addition to teachers of popular music who have problems getting their undergraduate students, who would rightly or wrongly much rather learn about 'popular music itself', interested in the compliated and sometimes obscure theories of cultural studies and popular music research.
- Sanna Rojola, University of Jyvaskyla, Finland