Bad Music

With a collection of essays written by music scholars, Bad Music: The Music We Love To Hate edited by Christopher Washburne and Maiken Derno is both refreshing and informing to read. The book delves into various genres—country, pop, world music, smooth jazz, folk, and punk rock—that are often ignored by the academic’s gatekeepers. Discussions such as “Camp vs. Cheese,” “Why Smooth Jazz is Not Part of Historical Narratives,” and “Badness as ‘Aesthetically Unbearable Style'” help readers understand the “musical badness” without being disdainful. As someone whose interests include music writing, I find Bad Music to be helpful and insightful.