Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

"I Love This Bar": Working Class Expression Through Karaoke Song Selection
by Gerolami, Mark T., Mus.M., Bowling Green State University, 2007, 58; 10817757
Abstract (Summary)

This thesis probes the meaning and processes of karaoke song selection at Whiskey Dick’s, a working-class bar in Bowling Green, Ohio. Through research, observations, and interviews conducted from 2005 to 2006, it examines how working-class identity manifests itself in karaoke song selection.

As part of positioning the author into the study, I introduce my own background and discuss my history with both karaoke music and working-class culture. An analysis of a single night at Whiskey Dick’s creates a framework for specific observations and gives the reader greater context, while the lengthy enthnography provides for more generalized observations.

In interviews and discussions with the singers I attempt to uncover the meaning behind each song selected, discovering how conscious singers are of their choices. For some participants my research eventually impacted how they pick songs thus raising issues of intrusion by the ethnomusicologist. I examine several of the most popular songs at Whiskey Dick’s and analyze the lyrics of each, focusing on class representation within the lyrics. In addition, the difficulties of speaking about music and our musical preferences are explored and discussed in reference to the singers at Whiskey Dick’s.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Harnish, David
School: Bowling Green State University
Department: Music Ethnomusicology
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Music
Keywords: Bar, Class culture, Karaoke, Karaoke singing, Working-class, Working-class bar
Publication Number: 10817757
ISBN: 978-0-355-84314-9
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