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Presence and Pleasure
The Funk Grooves of James Brown and Parliament
Anne Danielsen


2006 • 280 pp. 11 illus. & 40 Figs. 6 x 9"
Music / African-American Studies

$24.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6823-6

What does it mean to be in the groove?

In this exploration of the funk groove and its unique sounds, author Anne Danielsen takes an in-depth look at this under-explored genre. Danielsen concentrates on the golden age of funk in the late 1960s and the 1970s, focusing on two of the era’s artists who made a substantial impact on the landscape of popular music: James Brown and George Clinton/Parliament. Aiming to understand funk not only as objectified musical meaning but also as lived experience, she begins with the musical events themselves and draws on her experiences as both a fan and a scholar to capture how their particular organization creates the funk listener’s pleasure. Danielsen further examines issues surrounding race in the construction and consumption of this music, focusing her study with how white listeners responded to funk in the 1970s, and arguing that African American music has remained a means of catharsis and of dealing with pleasures of the body. Funk’s crossover to international success among listeners of pop and rock music affected both the music itself and audiences’ understanding of it. Presence and Pleasure shows us how.

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Reviews / Endorsements

“Not only the first major study of funk, but also a major contribution both to the study of rhythm in American popular music and to the phenomenological analysis of music.” —Mitchell Morris, Associate Professor of Musicology, University of California, Los Angeles

“This is an original, well-presented, and innovative theory of groove, exploring the meaning and appeal of funk beyond an African-American/North American audience. Danielsen displays great sensitivity in handling its complex inter-cultural resonances.”—David Brackett, author of The Pop, Rock, and Soul Reader

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ANNE DANIELSEN is a researcher in the department of musicology at the University of Oslo.

Wed, 17 Oct 2018 11:32:06 -0500