2017 Abstracts Stage 3

A Defence of Disco: exploring the power and value of disco with reference to Adorno’s theories of music and the Culture Industry

The values of disco are often seen to tie neatly into consumerist culture and represent a false, materialistic and escapist attitude to life. In this project, I seek to provide a defence for a genre that had significant power and value for marginalised communities.

I will be referencing texts that discuss popular music and popular culture, focusing on Theodor Adorno, Richard Middleton and Simon Reynolds predominantly, in order to assess how a musical movement can be valued, what disco music can tell us about ourselves, and whether disco music should be taken seriously as a musical genre.