Monday, January 22, 2007

American Idol - Authenticity

I regularly read an interesting site called Dial "M" For Musicology, of which I understand maybe a third.

Today, he posted an article about "the rhetoric of authenticity", whereby a singer creates a performance that is not based on authentic feeling but the communication of an authenticity:

In my classes I often like to point out that the artistry of singers like Bob Dylan is largely directed at fashioning a rhetoric of authenticity. . . .What's particularly impressive about Dylan's sixties albums is how he was coming up with a whole new vocal-performative code for each album. It's a remarkable acheivement: between 1963 (Freewheelin' Bob Dylan) and 1967 (John Wesley Harding) he invented half a dozen ways of being authentic.

Fascinating stuff, as always.

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