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The View from the Bottom: Cultural Explorations of the Electric Bass
AuthorWright, Brian Francis
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The electric bass is a woefully underrated and under-researched instrument. This absence of scholarship on the electric bass, especially from a musicological perspective, has left a distinct gap in the contemporary literature on popular music. This thesis is an attempt to partially fill in this gap using four separate case studies: the electric bass's often overlooked early history in jazz, the historical moment of transition between the upright bass and electric bass in 1950s rock `n' roll, the electric bass's position in the hegemony of rock discourse, and the primacy of electric bass's role in the music of U2 and The Police. By looking at the instrument in these limited situations, this thesis is intended as a preliminary foray into reclaiming the historical and musical importance of the electric bass, and ultimately my hope is that it acts as a stepping-stone for future scholarly endeavors.