What to Listen For in Rock: A Stylistic Analysis

By Ken Stephenson

During this concise and fascinating research of rock track, tune theorist Ken Stephenson explores the gains that make this the world over renowned song specific from previous track types. the writer bargains a guided travel of rock tune from the Nineteen Fifties to the current, emphasizing the theoretical underpinnings of the fashion and, for the 1st time, systematically focusing now not on rock music's background or sociology, yet at the structural points of the track itself. What buildings ordinarily ensue in rock tune? What theoretical platforms or versions may well most sensible clarify them? The ebook addresses those questions and extra in chapters dedicated to word rhythm, scales, key selection, cadences, harmonic palette and succession, and shape. every one bankruptcy presents richly special analyses of person rock items from teams together with Chicago; the Beatles; Emerson, Lake, and Palmer; Kansas; and others. Stephenson exhibits how rock song is stylistically targeted, and he demonstrates how the gains that make it special have tended to stay consistent during the prior half-century and inside so much substyles. For track scholars on the collage point and for training rock musicians who want a deeper knowing in their track, this booklet is a necessary source.

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Mary had a bit lamb. Its fleece used to be white as snow. Oh, supply me a house the place the buffalo roam, the place the deer and the antelope play. means down upon the Swanee River some distance, distant. Rock additionally in most cases pairs textual words yet frequently separates the pair through melodic relaxation equivalent in length to that following the second one textual word: the first textual word involves a detailed at the moment downbeat of a four-bar unit, and the second one word (usually beginning close to the start of the 3rd degree) involves relaxation at the fourth downbeat. in regards to the 2 textual words and the cadence on a fourth downbeat, the constitution seems to be conventional. The constitution differs from that of a standard word, even though, within the loss of continuity brought on by the melodic relaxation within the moment degree. moreover, the harmonic trend in such instances is frequently measures lengthy and, for that reason, helps the notion of 2 two-measure devices. Little cause except the expectancy of a four-measure general is still for calling any such four-measure passage a word within the conventional experience of the observe with a historically positioned cadence within the fourth degree. 6 The 1 + 1 version pervades Bob Dylan’s “All alongside the Watchtower,” the doorways’ “Light My Fire,” Credence Clearwater Revival’s “Up round the Bend,” and the refrain of Tom Petty’s “Into the good vast Open. ” (By counting part as many beats in a degree, a listener can interpret such examples, in fact, as being in response to the two + 2 version. Such an interpretation, notwithstanding, doesn't regulate the judgment that the word constitution is nontraditional. ) items consisting in general of one + 1 versions often deny the normal regular extra via placement of the final cadence of the refrain or chorus on an odd-numbered downbeat. Such is the case, for example, in Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick highway” and Eric Clapton’s “Tears In Heaven. ” 19 PHRASE RHYTHM V- I M O T I O N B E T W E E N U N I T S even though the subject of concord belongs essentially to later chapters (see specifically bankruptcy four, “Chord kind and Harmonic Palette,” and bankruptcy five, “Harmonic Succession”), we needs to deal right here with one point of nontraditional harmonic perform in rock, particularly, a typical trend within the approach harmonies are used to start and finish the morphological devices akin to the characteristically termed word. we now have famous already that the I chord regularly starts every one unit. in lots of songs, the V chord might finish so much or maybe all devices. (See bankruptcy three, “Cadences,” for a dialogue of this. ) This trend is principally effortless to find in rock songs from the Fifties and Sixties, songs frequently in keeping with an easy, repeating harmonic development. Examples contain the four Seasons’ “Sherry,” “Twist And Shout” (recorded in 1962 through the Isley Brothers and in 1964 through the Beatles), and blood brother Holly’s “Words of affection. ” yet many harmonically extra advanced songs, as well—the Beatles’ “Michelle,” for example, and the Eagles’ “Hotel California”—feature non-stop repetition of harmonic styles finishing with V with no ever resolving to I.

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