Carrera, Alessandro (2016) The Philosophy of Popular Music: Aesthetical Categories and Cultural Relevance. A Commentary on My Publications. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

In the mid-1970s, my approach to popular music was shaped by aesthetical categories developed in the fields of Euroclassical music and continental philosophy. In fact, my interest in the avant-garde movements of the 20th century predated my involvement with popular music. In 1980, however, when I completed my philosophy thesis on Arnold Schönberg at the “Università degli Studi” in Milan, Italy, I had already been working for years in the field of rock, jazz, and folk music. Now that the borders between musical languages have become more porous, my double background in classical and popular music would not be unusual. In late-1970s Italy, it was. Yet in my mind, the two worlds co-existed and have co-existed since. From this dual commitment to the intellectual reasons of criticism and the raisons du coeur of passionate involvement with all genres of music, four themes have emerged in my scholarly production:
Section A. The 1977-1982 sociological phase now revived thanks to the new edition of my first book and the volume on music and society in Italy I have edited in 2015.
Section B. Articles written mostly in the 1980s and up to 2004, in which I combined post-romantic aesthetics, psychoanalysis, and hermeneutics in a parallel analysis of contemporary minimalism and the “music of the spheres” theme.
Section C. Writings on Bob Dylan and American culture (1998 to now), in which I also found the way to expand on the “poetry and music” theme dating back to my Schönberg thesis.
Section D. Articles on songwriters and songwriting in which I have combined different critical approaches such as historical survey, “portrait-of-an-artist,” and in-depth analysis of specific songs and of their cultural relevance.
Conclusions. An excerpt from my current work on descriptive categories that I intend to apply to the study of popular music.

Carrera_-_Dissertation_-_The_Philosophy_of_Popular_Music Final thesis.pdf - Accepted Version
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