Spinning the Child examines music for children on records, radio and television by assessing how ideals of entertainment, education, ‘the child’ and ‘the family’ have been communicated through folk music, the BBC’s children’s radio broadcasting, the children’s songs of Woody Guthrie, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show and Bagpuss, the contemporary children’s music industry and other case studies.
The book provides the first sustained critical overview of recorded music for children, its production and dissemination. The music, lyrics and sonics of hundreds of recorded songs are analysed with reference to their specific social, historical and technological contexts. The chapters expose the attitudes, morals and desires that adults have communicated both to and about the child through the music that has been created and compiled for children. The musical representations of age, race, class and gender reveal how recordings have both reflected and shaped transformations in discourses of childhood.
This book is recommended for scholars in the sociology of childhood, the sociology of music, ethnomusicology, music education, popular musicology, children’s media and related fields. Spinning the Child’s emphasis on the analysis of musical, lyrical and sonic texts in specific contexts suggests its value as both a teaching and research resource.