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Charles Kronengold: Crediting Thinking in Soul and Dance Music

Tanu Wakefield at Stanford Humanities Center recently talked with Music faculty Charles Kronengold (Assistant Professor, Musicology) about some of the ideas driving Kronengold's next book project, Crediting Thinking in Soul and Dance Music. In response to what he has long felt was a lack of popular-music scholarship regarding African American genres like soul, funk, and disco, Kronengold's book will dig deeper into the musical nuts and bolts employed through the wide variety of black music: song lyrics and how they’re performed, vocal ad-libbing, improvising, musical arranging, and the importance of the"groove", along with the packaging and promotion associated with marketing the music. Although acknowledging the importance of stars like Curtis Mayfield and Aretha Franklin, he's also highlighting the roles played by the less-known producers, arrangers, backing singers, studio musicians, engineers, and DJs. "The clearest way to put it is that the makers of this music want to be heard. They want their labor and their creativity to be acknowledged," says Kronengold. | Read the whole interview at Stanford Humanities Center.