Kurt Cobain & His Orchestra

Kurt Cobain & His Orchestra: Shifts in Naming Conventions of Popular Music Groups, 1923-2003

This is a paper that I presented at the annual meeting of the American Name Society in Albuquerque, NM, 8 January 2006.

Abstract:

The paper examines 1,820 names of popular music groups from the years 1955-2003 plus 34 names from before 1955 and identifies several morphological and semantic changes to naming conventions during this period.

The primary change is a sudden shift from plural names (e.g. The Supremes) to singular ones (e.g. Toad The Wet Sprocket) occurring in a two-year period from 1965-66. Other less sudden changes include a steady decline in the use of collective nouns in group names (e.g., band, trio) and a decline in the use of personal names in band names (e.g., The Greg Kihn Band).

Download:

The paper, in Adobe PDF format, is here (94 KB).

The data set used for analysis, in Microsoft Excel format, is here (457 KB).

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