Musical Performance Styles

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Rather than a summation of the readings 'The role of the body in the production and perception of solo vocal performance: A case study of Annie Lennox' by Jane Davidson and 'On Performativity and production in Madonna's 'Music'' by Stan Hawkins, I would prefer to highlight the points which provoked me to think of musical performances I have enjoyed, not enjoyed, or been challenged by. By utilizing previous experiences of musical performances and applying them to the material covered in the readings, I was able to gauge with greater ease what the writers were saying as well as question some issues raised.

I chose the two readings because they centred on the physicality of a performance rather than the gender of the performer; unlike the other two readings of week 9 and I especially appreciated Jane Davidson's accessible definitions and summaries.

As stated by Stan Hawkins, the form of pleasure derived from watching pop videos is "based on the satisfaction of maintaining a sense of sub culture". Immediately this drew my attention in, to analysing what it is I took away from a pop video or performance. Although appreciation is subjective, Hawkins uncovers our need to escape from the dominant reality that is our lives and retreat to a 'different' place where we can belong. To keep with the Madonna example, I immediately thought of the singer walking through a cold grey desert dressed in black and subsequently shattering into a murder of crows. This was a scene from the video clip for the song 'Frozen' which symbolically has the lyrics 'You only see what your eyes want to see'. Hawkins' points, supplemented by the image of Madonna's video clip, made me realize that a musical performance must communicate not only musically but provoke an emotional stimulation as well.

Hawkins states that accessing fans through fantasy is one of Madonna's musical performances' ultimate goals, coupled with enacting femininity and mediating construction. By...
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