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The Relentless Pursuit of Tone – Timbre in Popular Music - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Relentless Pursuit of Tone: Timbre in Popular Music

Robert Fink, Melinda Latour, and Zachary Wallmark


The Relentless Pursuit of Tone: Timbre in Popular Music assembles a wide spectrum of contemporary perspectives on how sound functions in an equally wide array of popular music. With subjects ranging from the twang of country banjos and the sheen of hip-hop strings to the crunch of amplified guitars and the thump of subwoofers on the dance floor, this volume attempts to bridge the gap between timbre, the purely acoustic characteristics of sound waves, and tone, an emergent musical construct that straddles the borderline between the perceptual and the political. The book’s chapters engage with t ... More

Keywords: tone, timbre, popular music, genre, voice, musical instrument, guitar, audio production

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780199985227
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199985227.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Fink, editor
Professor of Musicology, University of California Los Angeles

Melinda Latour, editor
Rumsey Family Assistant Professor of Musicology, Tufts University

Zachary Wallmark, editor
Assistant Professor and Chair of Musicology, Southern Methodist University Meadows School of the Arts

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Robert Fink, Zachary Wallmark, and Melinda Latour

Part I Genre

1 Hearing Timbre

Cornelia Fales

3 The Sound of Evil

Zachary Wallmark

4 Below 100 Hz

Robert Fink

Part II Voice

5 Timbre and Legal Likeness

Mark C. Samples

Part III Instrument

8 Hearing Luxe Pop

John Howland

Part IV Production

14 The Sound of Nowhere

Paul Théberge


Simon Frith

End Matter