Tempo approaches the field of rock and popular music from the perspective of the culturalist who appreciates the inherent exchange, interplay and conversation between music and its times. Music both reflects and affects those who make it, those who listen to it, and those who disseminate it. Contributions to Tempo examine rock and popular music along these lines to help a reader appreciate and understand the relationship between music and culture at a deeper level.

As with any major art form, music is both the effect and cause of social, political, economic, technological, psychological, rhetorical, religious, and artistic phenomena. All of these factors influence, in turn, and to varying degrees:

  • the forms music takes in composition, performance, and recording
  • the means by which listeners gain access to music, from live performance to analog or digital recordings
  • the ways in which listeners involve and respond to music in their daily lives

The purpose of Tempo, therefore, is to provide rich cultural analyses of the ouvre of musical artists working in rock and pop (as composers, performers, individuals or groups). Modeled on the highly successful Twayne’s Authors Series, volumes in the Tempo series are more than mere artist or band biographies. Instead, they integrate the various strands—biographical, cultural, economic, political, etc.—into a compelling exploration of music within its cultural-historical web.

Tempo has four main stakeholders:

1) Readers: each contribution to the series is intended to educate students, teachers, scholars, and those generally interested in the role culture and history play in musical creation, performance, recording, and reception.

2) Libraries: the series as a whole is intended for patrons of public and academic libraries, particularly those serving student populations at community colleges and four-year colleges.

3) Authors: each contribution, we believe, gives its author an opportunity to be in the spotlight as a historian, culturalist, and critic, one who can educate an interested class of readers by illustrating the many remarkable ways music, culture and history speak to each other and create our musical heritage. Authors are compensated following the terms of a standard contract offered by an academic press: authors receive copies of their books upon publication; authors can purchase additional copies at the author-discount price; a standard royalty structure for academic publishing is included in the contract.

4) Publisher: Scarecrow Press, the reference publishing imprint of Rowman and Littlefield, is making a concerted effort to create a well-defined and well-regarded series of interest to both public and academic library patrons, as well as individual buyers.

Tempo serves each of these stakeholders in multiple ways. The series will ideally serve readers, particularly students, as ideal sources of information for not only general education but research on topics assigned by courses. For libraries, this series deepens their collections on music and allows for an interdisciplinary embrace of the topics. For the author, it is a publishing credit exhibiting his or her expertise in a field. For the publisher, it is a clear attempt to re-configure part of Scarecrow Press’s ample music offerings into a more coherent list.


The Series Editor for Tempo is Dr. Scott Calhoun, Professor of English at Cedarville University. He writes about U2 for @U2, directs the U2 Conference, and edited the essay collection Exploring U2: Is This Rock ‘n’ Roll?.