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Popular Music

Whether you are grocery shopping, watching a commercial or listening to the radio: pop music is all around us. But popular genres of today often have a history of resisting the mainstream. How did singer-songwriters and sharp-tongued rappers claim their place on the stage? And what role did politics and economics play in this development?

Selling rebellion

The word ‘popular’ usually means: that which is liked by the majority. But sometimes it also refers to that which opposes ‘adult’ cultures. The development of subcultures and musical scenes in resistance to the mainstream goes with a powerful element of defiance and rebellion that is worth discussing at length.

This course offers the opportunity to explore the popular music world in a unique way. You will explore issues of identity, meaning, inequality and political economy to better understand the various facets of popular music as a field. You will gain new insights into these matters by listening to popular songs with a critical ear and tuning into current trends, in light of key cultural theories.

About the lectures

De voertaal van dit programma is Engels.

The credit value of active participation in the PRE-programme is 25 studielasturen.


Registration and admission

Write a letter of intent to tell us about yourself and, in particular, why you would like to take part in this programme. Please restrict your letter, in English, to about 300 words or one page of A4. The deadline for signing up is in the beginning of November, before 09:00 AM. Check out Aanmelding & selectie for more information.

The maximum number of students selected for the programme will be 30. 


For any questions regarding this class, you can contact Esrih Bakker, coordinator of the Pre-University Classes.

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