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University of Guelph
MUSC 2150
Shannon Carter

STUDYING ROCK -rock music born out of controversy, rebellious image always appealed to fans. - mid-1950s, adults accustomed to fatherly crooning of Bing Crosby and the suave, Frank Sinatra shocked by Elvis Presley’s blues-influenced singing and suggestive dance moves. -Teenagers, of course, loved him. -Beatles’ moptop haircuts upset parents in mid-1960s; setting fashion trend among youngsters. -Rock pushed boundaries of what was accepted -artists: JimMorrison,AliceCooper, DavidBowiechallenged cultural values in late ’60s early ’70s, -Madonnaand Prince in 1980s. - Issues such as payola , obscene lyrics have been focus of federal government hearings. -only small portion of rock source of controversy or cultural struggle, nonconformity+ misbehavior central to the rock movement. - rock’s frequent (and sometimes militant) opposition to status quo, some people surprised to learn colleges and universities offering courses in rock - music historians look back on last century, obvious popular music played enormous role in recent development of Western musical tradition, -rock music has been dominant among popular styles. -Even music historians whose focuses on other genres and decades must take into account many and often farflung effects rock has had on world of music -Despite acknowledged importance of rock music, determining definition of “rock” constitutes/ means is difficult . -Some scholars use term “rock and roll” to describe first wave from 1954 to 1959 -Others describe music after 1964 as “rock.” -Using these distinct terms preserves many scholars and fans see as an important difference. -book will employ the term “rock” in broad sense, however, using term to designate popular music that is produced specifically for a youth audience. -more encompassing usage still problematic includes seeming contradictions. -Is rock defined by race, or musical style, or specific musical elements, such as instrumentation or lyrical content? -Can 1960s soul be considered rock? How about folk or rap? -Is all pop also rock, is all rock also pop? -how do we think about rock music after its musicians and audience have grown up? -Few argue artists : ElvisPresley,Beatles, RollingStones,Jimi Hendrix,Led Zeppelin,Police,andU2 central to rock movement. - artists like the Supremes, Madonna, and Kingston Trio harder to categorize. -book will tell history of popular music focuses on rock but includes other styles. -chapters that follow consider rock in inclusive manner, discussing artists -main purpose : enormous body of music that covers over fifty years of popular-music history—to make it easier to understand and appreciate. -Today more popular music available to listeners than any other time in history of recorded music. - Subsequent chapters organize music into styles and eras to make rock repertoire easier to understand and appreciate, = provide broad stylistic and historical perspectives ELEMENTSTOCONSIDER Rock History in the Media. -most fans have had some exposure to background information on artists and music. -those who havent studied rock as academic subject, historical information probably have come from general interest publications, radio, television, or Internet. - Magazines : Rolling Stoneand Mojo provide readers information about rock musicians, their music, aspects of entertainment industry. - Books targeted at general reader—often written by journalists and music critics— plentiful and varied. -Cable networks like VH-1 and MTV offer profiles of artists
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