Bring the Noise: Popular Music Studies

Curated by Sophia Frankford

Obrigada, Shukran: Brazilian Musical Encounters in Lebanon


In Lebanon, and in Beirut particularly, Brazilian music and dance is practised, performed and listened to in diverse and multiple settings, from Brazilian zafeh entertainment at flamboyant Lebanese weddings, to energetic performances of música popular brasileira (MPB) in small, independent music venues.

Trap: A Reappraisal of Stigmatized Practices and Music Experimentation


Trap is a music genre (or sub-genre) in high circulation since 2012, when its presence in social networks and the rise of scenes or communities around the world became evident.[1] Its origins can be traced to the suburbs of Atlanta, in the United States.

“Dununa Rivesi” (“Kick Back”): Dancing for Zambia


In 2016, the popular song “Dununa Rivesi” featured prominently during elections in Zambia. Newspapers and other print media published numerous articles about the song. Radio stations blasted the song on the airwaves, and kids and grown-ups, regardless of their political affiliation, danced and sang along to the song in a variety of spaces.

Rocking the Tradition or Traditionalizing Rock? A Music Performance on Chinese Reality Show China Star


Huayin Laoqiang is the earliest Chinese rock music.’ This is the first phrase that Chinese pop singer Tan Weiwei (b.1981) said when she introduced this traditional opera form in the Chinese music reality show China Star on 5th December 2015. China Star is a large-scale pop music TV show produced by a provincial satellite TV station Shanghai Dragon Television.

Sounding Repetition and Change: Loudspeakers and the Folklore Festival of Parintins, Brazil


The Folklore Festival, or Boi-Bumbá Festival, is an annual celebration that takes place in Parintins, a city located on the Tupinambarana island in the state of Amazonas, Brazil.

Touching Synchrony: Drag Queens, Skins, and the Touch of the Heroine


Lip-syncing is one of the drag queen’s most valuable skills. She stands on stage, silently moving her lips to the voice of another, embodying that voice and persona in a performance style honed over generations of predecessors.

“We are all Algerian here”: Music, Community and Citizenship in Algerian London


Citizenship, community and national identity have been brought to the fore in public discourse in recent months by the political situations on both sides of the Atlantic.

Sheikh Imam: “A Voice of the People”


For much of his adult life, Sheikh Imam ‘Issa (born Muhammad Ahmad ‘Issa, 1918- 1995) lived as many musicians did in early- to mid-twentieth century Cairo: eking out a living in a dual role as Quran reciter/muezzin, and singer/composer of secular songs for the commercial market.

Thoughts on Convergence and Divergence in Vocaloid Culture (and Beyond)


Since the early 2000s, the concept of convergence has been discussed actively in the fields of media, fan, and popular music studies. Scholars in these fields have developed this concept to explain the fluidity of digital media content across different online platforms, cooperation among media industries, and the active and participatory nature of end users (Galbraith and Karlin, eds.

Entering the Virtual Cipher

For the last seven years I’ve been following the spread of hip hop culture in Egypt. When I visit Cairo, I always look forward to hearing new songs at my friends’ rap shows. And the big annual breakdance battles never fail to impress with new b-boy talent. But usually, I find myself gravitating towards the more informal hip hop “performances” that happen off stage. It’s from these that I learn the most.


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