Performing Popular Music : The Art of Creating Memorable and Successful Performances book cover
1st Edition

Performing Popular Music
The Art of Creating Memorable and Successful Performances

ISBN 9781138585065
Published December 2, 2019 by Routledge
198 Pages - 13 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores the fundamentals of popular music performance for students in contemporary music institutions. Drawing on the insights of performance practice research, it discusses the unwritten rules of performances in popular music, what it takes to create a memorable performance, and live popular music as a creative industry. The authors offer a practical overview of topics ranging from rehearsals to stagecraft, and what to do when things go wrong. Chapters on promotion, recordings, and the music industry place performance in the context of building a career. Performing Popular Music introduces aspiring musicians to the elements of crafting compelling performances and succeeding in the world of today’s popular music.

Table of Contents


Section 1 - Creating Memorable Performances  

1. What Makes a Performance Memorable? 

2. Creating Memorable Live Performances  

3. The Role of Personal Practice in Preparing for Your Performance 

4. Rehearsing in a Group 

5. Your Audience 

6. Working as a Musician 

Section 2 - Making the Money: The Business of the Live Music Industry 

7. The Players in the Live Music Industry 

8. Earning an Income in the Live Music Industry 

9. Planning Your Product 

10. Technology and Live Performance 

11. Getting the Gigs: Promotion, Travel, Contracts, and Talking Business 

12. The Unwritten Rules of Music Performance 





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David Cashman is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Popular Music at Southern Cross University, and a working pianist. David’s research area is live music, with a particular emphasis on regional music and live music and tourism. As a pianist, David has performed all over the world, worked on cruise ships, and remains an active performer in Sydney and on regional and international tours.

Waldo Garrido is a Lecturer in Contemporary Music at Western Sydney University. He is a well-known bassist, composer, and producer. Waldo has produced two solo albums and has had two radio hits in his native Chile. As a songwriter, he is currently signed to BMG. Waldo researches and writes on the music of Chile and on the migrant experience of Syrian musicians in Berlin.


"Cashman and Garrido’s accessible book provides an absolutely first rate overview of all things related to the global live music industry. Based on their own extensive experience and interviews with live music stakeholders, the authors take the reader on a progressive journey through a multitude of factors related to this overlooked industry, ranging from experiencing live performance, to ‘types’ of performance, to advice on rehearsal and practice, to contracts and logistics, to earning a living from and monetising the industry. Written in jargon free language and crammed full of useful advice, the book is an ideal starting point for both the undergraduate student or any practitioner interested in musical performance Although not a research text in the traditional sense, the book does provide many areas for consideration, such as methods of stage communication, attracting audiences, rehearsal methodologies, stage showmanship and the mechanics of ‘experience’, all of which are fascinating points of discussion and analysis. I would imagine this book would be a really useful course text for all institutions teaching popular music performance and I certainly recommend it."

—Paul Carr, Professor of Popular Music, University of South Wales

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