Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Burnett, Robert and Bert Deivert. "Black or White: Michael Jackson's Video as a Mirror of Popular Culture." Popular Music and Society 19, no. 3 (Fall 1995): 19-40.

Analysis of visual and musical elements of Michael Jackson's video for his song Black or White reveals it as a series of intertextual references that generate meaning through allusions to aspects of popular culture. Intertextuality is defined according to Gerard Genette's theories of transtextuality and therefore is taken to be a relationship between "two or more texts existing or showing their presence within a work," including quotation, plagiarism, and allusion as types of intertextuality. In every scene of the video, intertextual references can be found, including the use of quintessential heavy metal guitar and drum sounds, cinematic allusions to Hitchcock and the film Raising Arizona, evocation of the militant political groups the Black Panthers as Jackson morphs into a panther, a rhythmic reference to Buddy Rich drum solos, and the inclusion of a brief section of rap.

Works: Bill Botrell and Michael Jackson: Black or White.

Index Classifications: 1900s, Popular

Contributed by: Sarah Florini

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