Philip Tagg  

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"The idea that 'Black'='US-Black' has the same excruciatingly gormless sort of arrogance found in other instances of word magic in post war American English. I am referring here to words like 'world', as in 'The World Trade Center', 'Miss World' or 'The World Bank' — none of these three 'worlds' include the socialist 35% of the actual world's population — or 'Trans World Airways' who fly neither to Irkutsk nor Maputo. The magic 'World=USA' notion recurs frequently in US-popular song, too, as in "Dancing in the Street" where the 'world's' cities are enumerated as Chicago, New York, L.A., New Orleans, Philadelphia and the 'Motor City', and in that recent aid singalong where the equals signs were most embarrassingly obvious: 'USA for Africa' (the group, the effort) ' was' 'the world', actually singing "We Are The World". Using 'black' to denote people of African descent living in the USA and nowhere else seems to be yet another instance of 'World=USA'. It is as disrespectful to the cultural identity and integrity of all other Blacks (the majority) as the U.S. American meaning of 'world' is to the rest of us (also the majority)." --Philip Tagg, 1989 [1]

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Philip Tagg (born 1944, Northamptonshire, UK) is a music theorist who has written on popular music. He coined the term museme and writes on semantics of music.

See also

Bibliography

Fabbri, Franco 1982. “A Theory of Popular Music Genres: Two Applications.” In Popular Music Perspectives, edited by David Horn and Philip Tagg, 52-81. Göteborg and Exeter: A. Wheaton & Co., Ltd.




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