Explore BrainMass

Adorno on Popular Music and Tim McGraw's Highway Don't Care


I have been studying Adorno's essays, "On Popular Music" and "A Social Critique of Radio Music". I am now applying some of the main points brought up in the articles to the pop/country hit, "Highway Don't Care" by Tim McGraw featuring Taylor Swift released in March of this year.

I could use help with the following, as I am a little lost and confused regarding Adorno's material.

1) What are the two or three main concepts or arguments drawn by Throdor Adorno from these essays?

2) How do these concepts link to a country/pop song such as Highway Don't Care? How can these concepts be linked to the song through specific features such as melody, vocal elements, lyrics, etc?

3) What type of counter argument can be used against Adorno's critique against pop music and this specific type of song?

Any specific citations or quotes from Adorno would be greatly appreciated so I can reference the section of the essays and really try to understand his points! This is one of my favorite songs so I think it would be really interesting to relate the two!

I have attached one of the readings as a PDF, but the second one at 17 pages was too large to upload. I have attached a link to a website where you can view the reading below.


Thank you so much!


Solution Preview

Welcome back! I offer 500 words of notes. Kindly rate 5/5 for my efforts.

1. As you summarize two or three main concepts or arguments drawn by Throdor Adorno from these essays, I found them both online. He seems to criticize the music and culture industries by suggesting that they are "antagonistic and exploitative" (209), hence losing all their authentic values and appeals and are merely out to make a profit. He seems to align the radio music as a negative out-shoot of capitalism which delivers merely mass uniformity. Instead of having unique sounds like we used to get from Elvis, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and others, we know get the same sounds copies and reproduced endlessly, I feel from his arguments.

He also seems to criticize popular music production for its mass production (211), which fosters "standardization" (216) as well.

2) As you then briefly align these concepts to a country/pop ...

Solution Summary

500 words of notes are offered to justify and summarize two or three main concepts or arguments drawn by Throdor Adorno from his essays.