introchapter 1chapter 2Interlude Achapter 3chapter 4chapter 5Interlude Bchapter 6chapter 7chapter 8Interlude Cchapter 9chapter 10chapter 11chapter 12chapter 13
Intro
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  • The Rock music image
    • Controversy
      1. The attraction has always been its rebellious image
        • Elvis's suggestive movements
        • The Beatles' moptop haircuts
      2. Rock artists challenged 1960s and 1970s cultural values
        • Jim Morrison
        • Alice Cooper
        • David Bowie
      3. These challenges continued during the 1980s
        • Madonna
        • Prince
      4. Federal government hearings have focused on Rap and heavy Metal CDs
      5. Opposition to the status quo
    • Rock Music's place in context with Western Music tradition
      1. Co-existence with art music trends in a contrasting role
      2. Historical evaluation will include classical and popular styles
      3. Well-known composers of art music:
        • Claude Debussy
        • Igor Stravinsky
        • Arnold Schoenberg
        • Olivier Messiaen
        • Aaron Copland
        • Karlheinz Stockhausen
      4. Examples of twentieth century jazz composers include:
        • Duke Ellington
        • Miles Davis
      5. Examples of early twentieth century popular music songwriters:
        • Irving Berlin
        • Cole Porter
    • Rock Music defined
      1. Some historians use more than one term for rock music
        • "Rock and Roll" is sometimes used in reference to the first wave the 1950s
        • "Rock" is then used to refer to post-1950s rock music styles
      2. The multitude of styles involved often lead to confusion
      3. This text uses the term "Rock" in a broad sense with the understanding that:
        • It refers to popular music written for a youth audience
        • Styles on the fringe will continue to be debated as to their exact categorization
  • The purpose of this text
    • Stylistic and historical overview
      1. To cover a fifty-year history of popular music styles
      2. Organize a vast body of music as to its many styles
      3. Make the development of popular music styles easier to understand and appreciate
    • Availability of rock music
      1. There is more recorded music available now ever before
        • Current releases
        • Music from previous decades
        • Special repackaged (often re-mastered) editions with bonus tracks
        • New releases of un-released versions or
        • Alternate mixes
        • Alternate performances
    • Most listeners are not fully aware of the scope of available music
    • This text will organize this material so as to best benefit the student
      1. To better identify stylistic similarities
      2. To understand the historical development of styles
      3. To gain a new perspective on music in general
  • Rock history in the media
    • Non-academic sources of information on rock music history
      1. Books
      2. Magazines and newspapers
        • Rolling Stone
        • Mojo
      3. Radio and television programs
        • VH-1
        • MTV
        • Classic Rock radio format
      4. Internet
    • Significant differences between scholarly study and awareness through media information
      1. Media information is intended for entertainment
        • Some information is reliable
        • Some information is slanted or inaccurate
      2. Media is based on advertisement for revenue
        • Therefore information could be subject to outside approval
        • Reliance on sales encourages focus on sensational biographical aspects
        • Less attention given to the actual musical aspects of songs and styles
    • This text will provide a balanced historical assessment of rock styles
      1. Inclusion of a wide array of artists and their influences
      2. Examination of the importance of artists and their relative impact (past and/or present)
      3. The purpose is to provide a balanced view
      4. Knowledge gained will better support the students' attitudes and ideas about popular music
  • The Fan Mentality versus the academic approach to studying rock music
    • What is involved with being a fan of an artist, a group or a style?
      1. Extensive listening to the music
      2. Gathering information about the artist, group or style
      3. Sometimes intentionally rejecting other artists or styles
      4. These things are normal to surface level appreciation
    • Serious study of rock music has responsibilities
      1. Be as fair as possible in acquiring information about artists and styles
      2. Refrain from judging one group to be "better" than another
      3. Understanding the relevance and influences of artists and styles
      4. Not let the fan mentality override a balanced approach
  • The importance of chart positions
    • Chart positions are intended to indicate a song's popularity (but see D below)
    • Most widely recognized chart is Billboard
    • Drawbacks to chart position references
      1. Chart numbers don't necessarily indicate a song's importance
      2. Chart numbers are sometimes determined in unexplainable ways
      3. Distinction between high-charting songs and low-charting songs can be useful
      4. General observations of chart positions are useful
        • With respect to the time period
        • Relative success of a song or album on multiple charts
    • Chart numbers are the best system we have at this time
      1. Other information could help assess importance of songs or albums
        • Radio playlists (all of them!)
        • Sales documentation
      2. There is not a complete compilation of this information yet
      3. The Record Industry Association of America (RIAA)
        • Awards gold records for sales of 500,000 units
        • Awards platinum records for sales of 1,000,000 units
        • Some records achieve gold or platinum status years or decades after their release
        • These awards are helpful in considering a record's success
  • The Four Themes
    • Rock music can be better understood in context with four general aspects
      1. Social, political and cultural issues
      2. Issues of race, class and gender
      3. The development of the music business
      4. The development and influence of technology throughout the twentieth century
        • Radio in the 1920s
        • Television in the 1950s and eventually cable television (MTV) in the 1980s
    • Each chapter in the text covers a 3 to 10 year period of time
    • Some information is presented from two different viewpoints for the same time period
      1. British Invasion songs and artists are covered in one chapter
      2. American response to the British Invasion is in its own separate chapter
      3. The Psychedelic era discusses the underground in San Francisco and London
  • The Popularity Arc
    • Patterns emerge that become recognizable
      1. Obscurity to limelight and back again
      2. American punk music exemplifies this trend
        • Rising out of an underground scene
        • Evolving in to the mainstream
        • Retreating back to an underground scene in reaction to new wave alterations of the style
      3. This text examines influences at all points of the popularity arc
        • What happened during the roots / development period
        • What happened during the mainstream peak period
        • What happened after the mainstream period
    • Questions to aid the understanding the popularity arc
      1. How did this style arise?
      2. When did it peak in popularity?
      3. Does this style continue to exist in an underground subculture somewhere?
      4. The text will aid understanding of the first two questions
      5. The Internet will provide information on the third question
  • Elements of Music
    • Analytical thinking must be applied to the study of rock music
      1. Extensive writings by scholars demonstrate the complexity of rock styles
      2. The text provides listening guides to examine the songs examined
    • Musical form
      1. These guides will focus on structural aspects of musical form
      2. Rock music has a limited number of forms
        • Most songs fit into these forms or variations of these forms
        • Through examination the patterns become easily recognizable
    • Form, Rhythm and Meter: "Rocket 88"
      1. Basic formal types will be discussed in Chapters 1, 2 and Interlude I.
        • An introduction to the examination of form can be presented using this song
        • Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats
        • Recorded in 1951 in Memphis by Sam Phillips
      2. A diagram breaks the song into sections
      3. CD timings are used to establish sections
        • Timings could vary from CD to CD
        • Use these timings for general section locations in the songs
    • Counting and section lengths
      1. The first section is labeled "instrumental verse" in the diagram
        • "12 mm." is given
        • The section is twelve measures in length
        • "mm" is commonly used to abbreviate measures in musical writing
      2. How to count measures
        • Musicians begin a song by counting out "one, two, three, four"
        • And then continue by counting "one, two three, four"
        • Rather than "five, six, seven, eight . . ."
      3. Each group of four beats is called a "measure" or "bar"
        • These terms are used interchangeably
        • Verses and instrumental verses are 12 measures
        • Verse 2 is only 8 measures
        • Probably by mistake
        • Musicians seem to scramble back together
      4. Sections can be observed by following the CD timings
    • Simple Verse Form
      1. A single section is repeated 8 times
        • Sections are either "verse" (sung) or "instrumental verse"
        • The harmonic progression of each section is identical
        • (except verse 2 being shorter)
        • There is little or no contrast between sections
      2. Therefore this form is called SIMPLE VERSE FORM
      3. Very common in rock music
      4. By listening and counting measures form becomes apparent
    • Instrumentation
      1. It is important to listen to instruments
      2. Instruments used in "Rocket 88":
        • drums
        • bass
        • electric guitar
        • acoustic piano
        • two saxes
        • lead vocals
      3. Attention moves from part to part during the song
      4. We focus on new elements that appear in the music
        • Piano in the first instrumental verse
        • Vocals in verse 1
        • Saxes in the next section (and so on)
      5. Interlude B covers instrumentation listening
      6. Discerning certain instruments from others is a skill that can be developed
        • Going to see live music in a small setting is very helpful
        • Musicians are often willing to talk about their music and instruments during breaks
        • Awareness of instrumentation and form will greatly enhance the listening experience


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