Sonic Visions: Popular Music On and After Television‏

Call for submissions
Sonic Visions: Popular Music On and After Television
Journal of Popular Music Studies Special Issue
Guest Editors Matt Delmont & Murray Forman

The connection of music and television calls to mind iconic performances like Elvis Presley on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956 and the debut of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” video on MTV in 1983. More recently, music videos have seen a resurgence in the “post-television” era, with videos like Justine Bieber’s “Baby” (ft. Ludacris) and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” (ft. Beyoncé) notching hundreds of millions of views online (671 million and 432 million, respectively, as of December 2011). At the same time, and often in the shadows of these hugely popular performances, music has been crucial to every era of television and to the development of video websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo, providing profitable content, pioneering new screen technologies, and promoting debates around the visual presentation of race, gender, sexuality, and youth.

This special issue of the Journal of Popular Music Studies will explore the histories of popular music on television in the broadcast and cable (or “post-network”) eras, as well as the contemporary appearances of popular music on multiple screens (e.g. computers, tablets, and smart phones) in the “post-television” era. How do we understand the presentation of music on television and video websites? In what ways is the relationship among music, television, and the Internet mutually constitutive? With millions of music related videos available instantaneously on a proliferation of screens, how do we study popular music? We seek work from a variety of academic fields that examines the manifestations and implications of popular music on and after television.

Subjects might include:
• How television and the visual presentation of music has shaped artist appearances, performance styles, and the recording industry
• How music has shaped the technologies, program formats, and industry structures of television
• Music as a commercial attraction on television
• Television personalities or “veejays” as cultural mediators for music
• Music on television outside of the United States
• Music on local television
• “Liveness” in music television
• Musical television audiences
• Television and music genre
• Relationship of television, music, space, and place
• History, legacy, and/or contemporary relevance of MTV
• Development of the music video genre
• Television, music and historical memory
• Resurgence of professionally made music videos on video websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo
• Proliferation of fan videos or concert bootlegs on video websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo
• Commenting culture on video websites like YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo
• Using webvideo sites like YouTube, DailyMotion, and Vimeo to teach popular music history
• Digital technologies and new directions in music on screens in the “post-television” era

Please send abstracts (400-500 words) to Matt Delmont ( & Murray Forman ( by 1 August 2012.