That rare thing, an academic study of music that seeks to tie together the strands of the musical text, the industry that produces it, and the audience that gives it meaning...A vital read for anyone interested in the changing nature of popular music production and consumption" - Dr Nathan Wiseman-Trowse, The University of Northampton Popular music entertains, inspires and even empowers, but where did it come from, how is it made, what does it mean, and how does it eventually reach our ears? Tim Wall guides students through the many ways we can analyse music and the music industries, highlighting crucial skills and useful research tips. Taking into account recent changes and developments in the industry, this book outlines the key concepts, offers fresh perspectives and encourages readers to reflect on their own work. Written with clarity, flair and enthusiasm, it covers: * Histories of popular music, their traditions and cultural, social, economic and technical factors * Industries and institutions, production, new technology, and the entertainment media * Musical form, meaning and representation * Audiences and consumption. Students' learning is consolidated through a set of insightful case studies, engaging activities and helpful suggestions for further reading.