Travelling Songs: On Popular Music Transfer and Translation

Isabelle Marc

Abstract


Even though a song is created in a specific national or communitarian context, which determines to various degrees its production and reception processes, once it is recorded, reproduced and disseminated, especially via the global music market, it travels and wanders through time and place, thus becoming a transcultural product. The fruits of these transfers are what I call a “travelling song” and, by extension, “travelling music”. In this article, I will argue that travelling songs are dramatically transformed by their new contexts of reception. Focusing on alterity and diversity over sameness and isomorphism, the main objective of this work is to provide a general typology of music transfers that draws on translation and cultural transfer theories. Such musical transfers can be categorized in four ways: a) cultural reception; b) musical reprise; c) translation and adaptation; d) stylistic emulation. Such as distinction will lead the discussion to insights into how music transfers relate to such concepts as fidelity, authorship and creativity within a polycentric dynamic.

http://dx.doi.org/10.5429/2079-3871(2015)v5i2.2en

Keywords


popular music, popular music transfers, translation, translation theories, isomorphism, alterity

Full Text:

PDF

References


Bibliography

Alas “Clarín”, L. 1885. La Regenta. Barcelona: Daniel Cortezo.

Appadurai, A. 1996. Modernity at Large: Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Bassnett, S. and Trivedi, H. Eds. 1999. Postcolonial Translation. Theory and Practice. London and New York: Routledge.

Bassnett, S. 2002. Translation Studies. London and New York: Routledge.

Damrosch, D. 2003. What is World Literature? Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Deleuze, G. and Guattari, F. 1980. Capitalisme et schizophrénie 2. Mille plateaux. Paris: Minuit.

Espagne, M. and Werner, M. 1987. La construction d’une référence culturelle allemande en France: Genèse et histoire (1750-1914). Annales. Économies, Sociétés, Civilisations, year 42, no. 4: 969-992.

Even-Zohar, I. 1976. The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem. Paper presented to the Leuven International Symposium Literature and Translation: New Perspective in Literary Studies, The Catholic University of Leuven, 27-30 April 1976.

Fabbri, F. –

A Theory of Musical Genres: Two Applications. In D. Horn and P. Tagg Eds. 1982. Popular Music Perspectives. Gothenburg and Exeter: International Association for the Study of Popular Music: 52-81.

Is There Popular Music Out There? Journal of European Popular Culture 4 (1): 9-18.

Flaubert, G.1857. Madame Bovary. Paris: Michel Lévy Frères.

Fontane, T. 1896. Effi Briest. Berlin: Fontane.

Gilroy, P. 1993. The Black Atlantic. Modernity and Double Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Glissant, E. 2005. La Cohée du Lamentin. Poétique V. Paris: Gallimard.

Green, S. 2013. The Musical Routes of the Spanish Black Atlantic: The Performance of Identities in the Rap of Frank T and El Chojín. Journal of Popular Music and Society 36 (4): 505-522.

Green, S. and Marc, I. Eds. 2016 (forthcoming). The Singer-Songwriter in Europe. Paradigms, Politics and Place. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate.

Griffiths, D. 2002. Cover Versions and the Sound of Identity in Motion. In D. Hesmondhalgh and K. Negus Eds. Popular Music Studies. London: Arnold: 51-64.

Hesmondhalgh, D. 2013. Why Music Matters. London: Wiley Blackwell.

Holt, F. 2007. Genre in Popular Music. Chicago: Chicago University Press.

Janovitz, B. n.d. “It’s Now or Never”. Song review in All Music. http://www.allmusic.com/song/its-now-or-never-mt0000003748. Accessed 09 June 2015.

Jenkins, H. 2004. Pop Cosmopolitanism: Mapping Cultural Flows in an Age of Media Convergence. In M. M. Suarez-Orozco and D. Baolian Qin-Hillard Eds. Globalization: Culture and Education in the New Millennium. Berkeley: University of California Press: 152-172.

Kaindl, K. 2005. The Plurisemiotics of Pop Song Translation: Words, Music, Voice and Image. In D. Gorlée Ed. Song and Significance. Virtues and Vices of Vocal Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi: 235-262.

Looseley, D. L. 2003. Popular Music in Contemporary France: Authenticity, Politics, Debate. Oxford and New York: Berg.

Marc, I. –

a. How Do We Listen to Popular Music in Europe? Journal of European Popular Culture, European Popular Musics 4 (1): 29-35.

b. Submarinos amarillos and Other Transcultural Objects in Spanish Popular Music During Late Francoism. In S. Martínez and H. Fouce Eds. Made in Spain. Studies in Popular Music. London: Routledge: 115-124.

c. Brassens en España. Un ejemplo de transferencia cultural. Trans. Revista de Traductología 17: 139-149.

Middleton, R. Ed. 2000. Reading Pop: Approaches to Textual Analysis in Popular Music. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Mitchell, T. 2012. Global Noise: Rap and Hip-Hop outside the USA. Middleton, Wesleyan University Press.

Moehn, F. 2012. On Cannibals and Chameleons. Contemporary Carioca: Technologies of Mixing in a Brazilian Music Scene. Durham and London: Duke University Press: 204-210.

Moore, A. F. 2012. Song Means: Analysing and Interpreting Recorded Popular Song. Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate.

Regev, M. –

The Pop-Rockisation of Popular music. In D. Hesmondhalgh and K. Negus Eds. Popular Music Studies. London: Arnold: 251-264.

Pop-Rock Music as Expressive Isomorphism: Blurring the National, the Exotic, and the Cosmopolitan in Popular Music. American Behavioral Scientist 20 (10): 1-16.

Pop-Rock Music. Aesthetic Cosmopolitanism in Late Modernity. Cambridge: Polity.

Ritzer, G. 1993. The Mcdonaldization of Society. An Investigation in the Changing Character of Contemporary Social Life. London: Sage, Thousand Oaks: Fine Forge Press.

Shuttleworth, M. 2001. Polysystem Theory. In M. Baker Ed. Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, London and New York: Routledge: 176-179.

Second Hand Songs. n.d. “La mer”. http://www.secondhandsongs.com/work/9271; Accessed: 25 November 2015.

Stokes, M. –

On Musical Cosmopolitanism. The Macalester International Roundtable 2007. http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/intlrdtable/3/; Accessed: 18 January 2015.

Créativité, globalisation et musique. Volume! La revue des musiques populaires 10 (2): 29-45.

Susam-Sareava, S. 2008. Translation and Music: Changing Perspectives, Frameworks and Significance. The Translator 14 (2) special issue Translation and Music: 187-200

Tagg, P. 2012. Music's Meanings. A Modern Musicology for Non-Musos. New York and Huddersfield: Mass Media Music Scholars’ Press.

Tolstoy, L. 1877. Anna Karenina. Moscow: The Russian Messenger.

Tomatis, J. 2014. A Portrait of the Author as an Artist. Cantautori and Canzone d’autore: Ideology, Authenticity, Stylization. In G. Plastino and F. Fabbri Eds. Made in Italy. Studies in Italian Popular Music. London and New York: Routledge: 87-99.

Townson, N. Ed. 2007. Spain Transformed: the Late Franco Dictatorship, 1959- 1975. Basingstoke: Palgrave/Macmillan.

Toynbee, J. and Dueck, B. Eds. 2011. Migrating Music. New York and London: Routledge.

Tylor, T. D. 1997. Global Pop: World Music, World Markets. New York and London: Routledge.

Venuti, L. 2008. The Translator’s Invisibility. A History of Translation. London and Ney York: Routledge.

Vertovec, S. and Cohen, R. Eds. 2002. Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice. Oxford: Oxford University Press:1-22.

Volume! La revue des musiques populaires –

a. La reprise dans les musiques populaires 7 (1).

b. La reprise dans les musiques populaires / bis 7 (2).

Discography

Bobby Darin. 1959. “Beyond the Sea”, That’s All, ATCO Records, US.

Boris Vian. 1956. “Le Déserteur”, Chansons “Possibles” et “Impossibles”, Philips, France.

Bruce Springsteen. 1984. “Born in the USA”, Born in the USA, Columbia, US.

Claude François. 1967. “Comme d’Habitude”. Comme d’Habitude, Disques Flèche- Philips, France.

Édith Piaf. 1958. “La Foule”, La Foule, Columbia, France.

Elvis Presley. 1960. “It’s Now or Never”, It’s Now or Never, RCA, US.

Frank Sinatra. 1969. “My Way”, My Way, Reprise Records, US.

Johnny Hallyday. 1961. “Viens Danser le Twist”, Viens danser le Twist, Philips, France.

Julio Iglesias. 1976. “La Mer”, En el Olympia, Columbia, Spain.

Los Mustang. 1966. “Submarino Amarillo”, Submarino Amarillo, La Voz de su Amo, Spain.

Public Enemy. 1989. “Fight the Power”, Fight the Power, Motown, US.

Charles Trenet. 1946. “La Mer”, La Mer – Seul depuis Toujours, Columbia, France.

Sixto Díaz Rodríguez. 1970. “Sugar Man”, Cold Fact. Sussex, March, US.

The Beatles. 1966. “Yelow Submarine”, Revolver, Capitol. UK.

Vampire Weekend. 2010. Contra, XL Records, US.

Viladomat, Juan. (1937). “Que Nadie Sepa Mi Sufrir”, Fumando espero. Tango, CBS, Argentina.

Videography

¡Que vienen los Beatles! 1995. Dir. Pedro Costa. Radio y Televisión Española.

Searching for Sugar Man. 2012. Dir. Malik Bendjelloul, Red Box Films, Passion Pictures, Canfield Pictures.

Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. 2011. Dir. Thomas Alfredson, StudioCanal, Karla Films, Paradis Films.

Interviews

Green, S. 2013. Interviewed by the author, email, 7 October.

Wheeler, D. 2013. Interviewed by the author, email, 19 September.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.