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Department of Music Lecture: 'Interpreting Chromaticism in Post-Millennial Pop/Rock'

Friday, March 1 | 3:00 PM

Music Classroom Building, 102
Music Classrooms Bldg, Clayton, MO 63105, USA

Brad Osborn, Professor of Music Theory, University of Kansas

Abstract Scholars of popular music have written extensively about the chromaticism germane to classic rock of the 1970s–1990s. Far less attention has been paid to the nuanced ways that post-millennial pop/rock songwriters and performers incorporate chromaticism into their compositions. Post-millennial pop/rock music is, on the whole, less chromatic than its classic rock counterpart, and tends to organize its harmonic content into repeating loops.

In this talk I introduce a few of the most common chromatic techniques in post-millennial pop/rock—including “dual leading tone loops” and “triple tonic loops”—and discuss some strategies for interpreting these chromatic loops in concert with a song’s lyrics, timbres or form.


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Brad Osborn, Professor of Music Theory, University of Kansas
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