The papers collected here in this special edition of Altitude offer a brief snapshot of popular music research broadly connected with Australia. The essays demonstrate the variety of theoretical and methodological approaches used by researchers in the fields of popular music studies and cultural studies to explore themes of popular music practice, formation and change in an Australian context. The opening essay by Johnson reconceptualises music as ‘noise’ and introduces the reader to the violence of music in modernity. Huber’s essay then takes issue with the notion of the ‘mainstream’ and considers the term’s usefulness in cultural analysis. In a look at Australian fiction, Doyle provides an overview of music’s literary presence in regards to incidental, ethnographic and synaesthesic dispositions or registers. Cohen and Baker’s essay looks at young people’s music-making; specifically the inroads made by two Australian and two British youths as they work towards becoming DJs. Mitchell’s discussion centres on the pedagogical and experiential dimensions of Australian hip hop with a case study of Melbourne-based hip hop artist Reason. Finally, the essay by Duffy, Waitt and Gibson investigates music’s role in rural place-making through a comparison of street parades in a rural town.
Bruce Johnson, From John Farnham to Lordi: The Noise of Music:
Alison Huber, University of Melbourne, What’s in a Mainstream?: Critical Possibilities:
Peter Doyle, Macquarie University, Writing Sound: Popular Music in Australian Fiction:
Bruce MZ Cohen, Humboldt University, Germany and Sarah Baker, The Open University, UK, DJ Pathways: Becoming a DJ in Adelaide and London:
Tony Mitchell, University of Technology, Sydney, The Reography of Reason: Australian Hip Hop as Experimental History and Pedagogy:
Michelle Duffy, University of Melbourne, Gordon Waitt, University of Wollongong and Chris Gibson, University of Wollongong, Get into the Groove: the Role of Sound in Generating a Sense of Belonging at Street Parades: