Music as persuasion: Creative mechanisms for enacting academe

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2 Scopus citations


Definitions of creativity are not universally agreed to; our definition of the word would be "the ability to generate plans, ideas, knowledge, and information that differ significantly from those in common use and are part of our general culture." Creative individuals are those who strike out in different directions. The "standard" direction" in communication centers on "information flow" similar to the process of electrons moving from one place to another. We have attempted to step outside of this process and invoke affect. An obvious way of invoking affect in a communicative interaction is to supplement the cognitive content with presentational elements having strong affective content (i. e., music). This process in inherently metaphorical. Our basic metaphor concerns the country rube encountering communication theory, much as Woody Guthrie did. Woody and other talking blues performers based their characterizations on the "Toby" shows that toured the rural American towns in the pre-television age. Toby was a wise-cracking rube who sees life more clearly than the pretentious big wigs do. The ancestor of the Toby character arose from rural characters like Asa Trenchard in Our American Cousin. Modern singers like John Prine and Arlo Guthrie slip into their "Toby" character when they sing. Our songs follow these juxtapositions. copyright 2002, ACJ.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Communication Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2002


  • Creativity
  • Folk music
  • Folk process
  • Metaphor
  • Parody

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication


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