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date: 26 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Although narrative theory has been extended into several new subject areas in recent years, very little theoretical attention has been given so far to the role of narrative in the various American popular music genres such as country and western, blues, soul, folk, and gospel music. This chapter is an attempt to extend some of the techniques of cognitive narrative theory into this new field. It adopts a cognitive and narratological perspective on the stories told in three country songs and a traditional ballad, paying particular attention to the minds of these songs’ narrators; what we learn of their minds from their very different forms of self-attribution of mental states; and the different levels of information available to the listener regarding the causes of, and reasons for, those mental states.

Keywords: narrative theory, music, genre, country and western, ballad, cognitive, attribution, mental state

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