Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Have people had enough of silly love songs?


A University of Southampton academic, who is investigating love songs from the 16th century to the 1970s, claims that not only is that not the case, but also that song plays a vital role in constructing myths of romantic love.

The research, provisionally entitled Silly Love Songs: Gender, Performance and Romance, investigates the relationship between song and romance, tracing the different ways that songs interact with other media, such as novels and films, to articulate the prevailing social views of their time. Its particular focus is on songs that occupy an uneasy place between classical and popular music, high art and ephemera: the kind of songs we love, but that often make us cringe.

Dr. Jeanice Brooks, a Reader in Music at the top Russell Group University, plans to explore in depth the role romance plays in women’s lives in order to understand love songs’ undeniable appeal to female audiences past and present and to shed light on what makes them so powerful and emotionally compelling. In particular, she will look at the role of romance and love songs in elaborating narratives of feminine identity, a topic of controversy amongst feminist historians, sociologists and literary critics.

Three case studies will explore distinct moments in the history of song and romance. The first focuses on late 16th century French court songs and chivalric romance, which helped project the ideals of courtly love in the context of newly prominent images of courtiership. The second looks at the parlour songs of the first half of the 19th century and their relationship to the novel, including those of Jane Austen. Self-accompanied singing of a drawing-room repertory was principally the domain of young unmarried women, part of a courtship process now linked to the ideal of companionate marriage.

The final case study examines film and popular song of the 1970s and the vision of romance projected by mass culture in the wake of the Women’s Movement and the sexual revolution. Materials will include The Way We Were and Love Story, both runaway screen hits with Oscar-winning scores, featuring relationships between young women from marginalized ethnic groups and WASP men. Despite the boom in research on popular culture, ‘soft’ pop music of the late twentieth century, as represented by performers such as Barbra Streisand, has received almost no scholarly attention.

Jeanice explains: ‘My research will break new ground in two ways: by placing at its heart song repertories that have previously been undervalued or neglected; and by adopting an approach which emphasizes performance and the way songs are received by audiences, rather than the composer- and work-centred approach usually taken in music history.’

The outcome of Jeanice’s research – which is due to start in earnest in January next year – is likely to be a book which looks at love songs in relation to books and films. The research is being undertaken with the support of a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Board.

Sarah Watts | alfa
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>