Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Covering Music: Tracing the Semiotics of Beatles Album Covers Through the Cultural Circuit
by McGuire, Meghan, M.A., Bowling Green State University, 2005, 57; 10817766
Abstract (Summary)

Semiotics and visual rhetoric are a large part of technical communications. Technical communicators often use visuals within the documents they are writing and formatting. Visual rhetoric goes beyond the signs used for assistance; it's everywhere. One such example is album covers. Album covers are considered cultural images, but when looked at as a product, they travel through the cultural circuit. The cultural circuit looks to bridge the gap between cultural studies and technical communication. For this paper, the Beatles' album covers were used because of the great influence the band had on both music and visuals. Through a textual analysis of three Beatles' album covers; With the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and The Beatles ("The White Album") and the other six top selling albums of those years (1964, 1967, and 1969, respectively), were analyzed to learn if the Beatles covers were visual examples of Mikhail Bakhtin's monoglossia, heteroglossia and polyglossia. This is important to discover since this theory is ubiquitous in society (i.e democrat vs. republican, comedy vs. tragedy), and can be applied to images as well as texts and ideologies. The conclusions stated that while, in comparison to six other album covers of those years, With the Beatles, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The Beatles can be considered heteroglossic or polyglossic, but after traveling through the cultural circuit, being redistributed by computers and rearticulated, they are monoglossic. However, since these covers have transcended from heteroglossic and polyglossic to become monoglossic, they are ultimately polyglossic, because they become their own genre, resulting in bricolage.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Heba, Gary
Commitee:
School: Bowling Green State University
Department: English
School Location: United States -- Ohio
Source: MAI 57/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Music history, Music
Keywords: Album covers, Beatles, Cultural circuit, Dialogic imagination
Publication Number: 10817766
ISBN: 9780355843231
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