satisfactory, this theory, developed by white
theoreticians, has obvious shortcomings. For
instance, it posits black music as the essence
of popular music, as the original form, free
from any vile attempt at commercialisation. But
this is simply not true. Many black genres
developed because a market had been created, for
example by technological innovations. Let us
consider the case of blues music.
is the invention of the record that fueled a
specific demand for a style which had to be more
or less created, or at least customized, to fit
the new requests. Recordings came to define the
public's taste and consequently the whole genre.
Besides, to describe black music as the only
authentic, unspoiled source is naively romantic.
One may welcome the effort at political
correctness and at re-establishing the value of
African-American culture but the danger is to
lapse into a Rousseauistic vision, ultimately
leading to a truly racist position (what Derrida
describes as "the remorse that produces
the so-called authenticity of black music is an
extremely ambiguous notion, which relies on
myths and ready-made ideological categories.
Frith and Horne explain that "in mass
cultural theory, the separation of high and low
culture really means different critical terms:
high art is good or bad, low art is authentic or
& roll has conventionally been discussed in
terms of its truth value, as a struggle between
a spontaneous expression and the falsifying
moves of the music industry" (147).