Popular Music in Theory is an original introduction to the key theoretical issues which arise in the study of contemporary popular music. It is organized in a way that shows how popular music is created across a series of relationships that link together industry and audiences, producers and consumers. Starting from the dichotomy between production and consumption which characterizes much work on popular culture, Keith Negus explores the equally significant social processes that intervene between and across the production-consumption divide, and examines how popular music is mediated by technological, cultural, historical, geographical, and political factors. This broad framework provides signposts to various tracks taken by sounds and images, and also highlights distinctive theoretical routes into the study of contemporary popular music. Although intended mainly for students in sociology, media and communication studies, and cultural studies, the book will also give others a deeper understanding of popular music.