Logo Universiteit Leiden.

nl en

Popular Music

Singer-songwriters, punk headbangers, sharptongued rappers: what all of them have in common is a history of social commitment that defines their musical styles. Incidentally, they also share a complicated relationship with the commercial apparatus that produces and distributes their musical work.

Selling rebellion

This course offers a unique opportunity to explore the popular music world from the point of view of its relation to both politics and the industry. There is a sense in which ‘popular’ means that which is liked by the majority, but sometimes it also means that which runs against the grain of ‘adult’ cultures and other expressions of the mainstream. The development of subcultures and musical scenes in resistance to the ‘status quo’ is intertwined with a powerful element of defiance and rebellion that is worth discussing at length.

To that end, students will explore issues of identity, meaning, inequality and political economy to better understand the various facets of popular music as a field. This course provides new insights into these matters by listening to popular songs with a critical ear, by tuning into current trends and actual cases 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.

On Wednesdays 14.00-16.00 hrs (except January 13th).

  1. January 6th 2020
  2. January 13th 2020: visiting Eurosonic / Noorderslag Conferentie (online, all afternoon)
  3. January 20th 2020
  4. January 27th 2020
  5. February 3rd 2020
  6. February 10th 2020
  7. March 3th 2020
  8. March 10th 2020 

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 4 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 Klawa Koppenol, coordinator of the Pre-University Classes.

Deze website maakt gebruik van cookies.