RMA Popular Music Study Group

Blue and purple casette tapes

The Popular Music Study Group has been established for the investigation and discussion of subjects connected with the art and science of popular music within the well-established framework of the Royal Musical Association (RMA). 

We present this inclusive, forward-looking, representative, responsive and scholarly study group in the context of continuing change, growth and development not only for music and the arts but for culture and society as a whole.

The Popular Music Study Group draws its broad-ranging definition of ‘popular’ from Cutler (1989, pp. 4-17);

  • ‘popular’ by numbers, that is, in terms of contemporary market forces;
  • ‘popular’ as ‘folk’, in other words ‘the music of the people’;
  • ‘popular’ as genus, describing a loose demotic musical language, definable by its means and relations of production, circulation and consumption.

Taking inspiration from within the RMA and fellow Popular Music Study organisations, our aims are to:

  • provide both an online and physical forum within the RMA where those involved in the study of popular music can meet and exchange information about their work;
  • organise regular conferences;
  • disseminate information about popular music studies and styles;
  • encourage the development of research and systematic study in topics and in areas of popular music which may not have received attention from the RMA;
  • encourage recognition of popular music as a key area for scholarly research;
  • provide and publish information and original research on popular music sources and resources in the form of recognisable scholarly and artistic outputs, and
  • encourage developmental collaboration in both scholarly research, discourse and musical practice with members of the RMA.

We look forward to proposing real and virtual performance and discussion events over the coming year.  You can find us on Twitter at @RMAPopularMusic and on Instagram at @rmapopularmusic.

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