This program took place on Thursday, May 2, 2013
Professor Andrew Flory presents “The Motown Sound”
The success of Motown Records during the 1960s and 1970s garnered a level of attention in mainstream society that was previously unthinkable for a company that specialized in black cultural forms. One of the curious aspects of Motown’s legacy is ways in which historians, critics, and musicians alike commonly cite a generic Motown style, or “Motown Sound.” Join Assistant Professor of Music Andy Flory as he presents “The Motown Sound”. He will discuss Motown’s famous “sound” from a number of vantage points, including marketing and self-categorization, musical tropes, and self-dialogue. In this presentation, he will show the parameters through which the agents involved in the creative process, the physical spaces of the Motown “campus” on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit, and the vertical (and not-so-vertical) integration of writing, arranging, performing, and recording contributed to a musical uniformity in select areas of Motown’s output during the company’s most productive period.
About the Speaker
Andrew Flory (American Music, Music History) received the B.A. from the City College of New York and the M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Andrew teaches courses in American music, focusing on rock, rhythm and blues, and jazz. Andrew was a member of the Royster Society and was awarded the John Motley Morehead Fellowship to complete his dissertation, which was awarded the Glen Haydon Award for Outstanding Dissertation in Musicology from the UNC Music Department. . He has written extensively about American rhythm and blues, and is an expert on the music of Motown. His book, I Hear a Symphony: Listening to the Music of Motown, is forthcoming from The University of Michigan Press. Working directly with Universal Records, Andrew has served as consultant for several recent Motown reissues. He is also co-author of the history of rock textbook What’s that Sound (W.W. Norton).
View the Presentation Handout
“The Motown Sound” (71 KB PDF Document)