Caught on the Back Foot: epistemic inertia and visible music <br>


  • Philip Tagg Universities of Huddersfield & Salford



iaspm, inertia, visible music, invisible music, interprofessionalism, Scotch snap, absolute music, institutionalisation, terminology, ethnocentric, scopocentric, euroclassical, rock, canon, film, TV, games


This paper explores the position of popular music studies thirty years since the formation of the International Association for the Study of Popular Music. Founder member of the association, Phillip Tagg, discusses what issues need to be addressed in the field, and how could they be better understood. Areas investigated include interdisciplinarity, interprofessionalism, epistemic intertia and invisible music. The paper concludes that musicologists working in popular music have failed to make such inroads into conventional musicology that popular music and art music are treated equally. It also questions why researchers from non-musical backgrounds still struggle to address the music of popular music studies, and offers solutions. It finally suggests that we are in a new stage of musical culture, in which audio-only/visible music has been replaced with audiovisual/invisible music, and that as a result popular music studies needs to engage further with music and the moving image.

Author Biography

Philip Tagg, Universities of Huddersfield & Salford



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