markus heuger's



  Abstract 0367
  Mäkela, Janne (2001), "The greatest story of pop music? Challenges of writing the Beatles' history." In: Yrjö Heinonen, Markus Heuger, Sheila Whitely, Terhi Nurmesjärvi and Jouni Koskimäki (eds.), Beatlestudies 3. Proceedings of the Beatles 2000 conference. Jyväskylä: University of Jyväskylä (Department of Music, Research Reports 23), 2001, 47-55.
  This article is a part of Mäkela's doctoral thesis, which discusses John Lennon from the points of views of stardom and of cultural history. It does not summarize the whole scenario but focuses on one important aspect: historical studies and the Beatles. Most of the Beatles' histories are either chronicles, which tend to emphasize the group's cultural and musical identity, or linear histories, which, despite perhaps some references to larger contexts, basically retell the story of the group's evolution. In general scholars, journalists, biographers and other writers (e.g. television documentarists) have been drawn into the canonized storyline of the Beatles — perhaps because between the chapters of "Liverpool" and "Let It Be" there exists a fascinating career path and an attractive pop drama with commonly shared "high peaks". Has anyone really considered writing the history of the Beatles through other than chronological approach?
  Since creativity and innovation have been the main features of the Beatles' histories, the idea that musical identities are created out of knowledge and experience of the past has often been neglected. Performers, as well as audiences, are continually referring back to something that occurred before. Thus, when writing the history of the Beatles it should be kept in mind that new music and new cultural dialogues are made within the context of the possibilities provided, for example, by existing social and industrial relations, technological means and aesthetic conventions.
  What is missing in the context of the Beatles historical studies is the concentration on the dialogue between the past and the present. In addition, because details of the Beatles' career have been documented with great enthusiasm, there is both room and a need to interpret the larger mechanism behind the Beatles' popularity and to discover the invisible connections that defined "the Greatest Story of Pop Music".
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