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1990s US Pacific Northwest: Sociomusicology and Politics

Brence, Sintija (2022) 1990s US Pacific Northwest: Sociomusicology and Politics. Masters thesis, York St John University.

Text (MA by Research thesis)
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This thesis investigates the political activism, motifs, and ideology of the 1990s Pacific Northwest movement in the United States. The aim of the thesis is to examine the movement through the perspective of sociomusicology with particular focus on melancholic music and its relation to society. As well as using the methodology of sociomusicology, the music of the movement is investigated as a reflection of Generation X and American society of the 1990s. This study investigates the socio-economic situation in Seattle in the 1980s, prior to the mainstream recognition of the scene. The socio-economic aspect is evaluated as the social fabric behind melancholic music from Seattle. Through the methodology of sociomusicology and the socio-economic investigation, this study argues that the movement was politically motivated and involved. It is a political movement against Republicanism, particularly against the 1980s Republican Party and Former U.S President Ronald Reagan.

The significance of this study lies in the way that it outlines how the movement maintained its political agenda and protests in its mainstream format and how supportive of democratic policy and ideologies the scene was. The majority of scholarship regarding the subject does not acknowledge the political aspect of the movement. It is overshadowed by a consensus that the scene was self-absorbed with drug culture and focused on depression. This study investigates the opposite and highlights how important melancholic aspects of music were for the scene in Seattle. The focus on such elements camouflaged and downplayed the importance of Democrat support for the movement, allowing for the movement to maintain and progress in a mainstream format.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Status: Published
Subjects: M Music and Books on Music > ML Literature of music
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: https://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/7575

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