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Rock Dresses Up?

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  1. Rock Dresses Up? Art Music of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s

  2. Art Rock • Basically, any band or artist who reaches out to Classical music, or to other forms of modern art (visual, theatrical, etc) or both to make an artistic statement

  3. The Who • Physicality, stage behavior important characteristic of band • Windmill strumming of Townshend; leaps and splits • Daltry strutting, mic twirling • Townshend calls “pop art” • Openly hostile on stage - early punk aesthetic • “Anti-anti Beatles”

  4. Tommy • Concept album with operatic conventions in mind: tells story without spoken dialogue • Minimal plot • Doesn’t incorporate symphonic sounds, additional instruments: performable (and performed) live

  5. Pinball Wizard • Beatles-like form: verse and refrain with contrasting middle eight

  6. The Doors • Literary orientation • Lead singer Jim Morrison a beat poet • Free association • Themes of exploration of altered states - sex, drugs, death

  7. The Doors - Style characteristics • Blues-based mainstream rock • Narrow range, highly repetitive melodies • Most songs in minor keys • Long, extended solos,esp. for keyboard • Poetic lyrics, dealing with dark subjects

  8. Light My Fire • Five bar intro establishes organ riff/melodic hook • Verse (8 bars long) • Refrain (7 bars long) • Long instrumental solos • Based on version of organ riff • Repeats ideas, adds and extends • Passes idea to guitar - same type of repetitive development

  9. Types of Art Rock • Music created for rock group and classical ensemble • Ex. Eleanor Rigby – Beatles + string quintet • Ex. Moody Blues – Nights in White Satin – rock band + symphony orchestra • Other groups of this type • Procul Harum • Electric Light Orchestra • Deep Purple (sometimes)

  10. Art Rock - types • Fusion of rock + classical music • Inspired by experiments of Sgt. Peppers and Pet Sounds • Exploration of musical avant-garde

  11. Avant-garde classical music • Avant-garde – intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts • Musical avant-garde in the 20th c. exploring questions like • “What is music”? • Are all sounds valid as musical sounds? • How can you incorporate non-Western musical ideas into Western music?

  12. John Cage (1908-1990) • In early career, writing revolutionary, but easily understood, music • Later works more philosophical, testing boundaries of music • Chance music: notes determined at random • 4’33”: musicians do nothing for duration of piece

  13. Edgar Varèse (1883-1965) • Interested in using “non-musical” sounds in music • In late ’30 begins composing music using electronics • Idea: all sounds available for musical use • Record, manipulate sounds from natural environment • Called musique concrete

  14. Minimalism • Pieces created out of minimum of musical material • Single idea repeated incessantly, slowly changes over time • Ex. Solos in “Light My Fire” • Ex. Steve Reich, “Check It Out” from Street Life

  15. Steve Reich - “Check It Out” • Combines musique concrete and minimalism • Short intro: chords • Three note motive (like riff, but less rhythmically interesting) introduced; basis for rest of movement • Shortly after, recorded sound introduced – sample “Check It out” • Number of repetitions, permutations of 3-note motive • More sampled, electronically manipulated sounds

  16. Velvet Underground • Associated with NY art scene - Andy Warhol acts as mentor • Primary rock influence Bob Dylan, but fused with lofty poetry, minimalism • Ex. Heroin

  17. Frank Zappa (1940-1993) and the Mothers of Invention • Zappa studied classical music in college • influenced by avant-garde composers like Varèse • Gained notoriety with Freak-Outs – multi-media happenings with slides, music, dancers,etc. • Recording of one of these, Freak Out (1965) arguably first concept album • Best known as rock satirist

  18. Zappa, What’s The Ugliest Part of Your Body? • From album We’re Only In It For The Money (1967) • Juxtaposition of textures, tone colors • Stylistic contrast • Section A: Doo-wop influenced, musical irony (words and music don’t match) • Section B: avant-garde classical • Section C: ??? Psychedelic pop??? • Rhythmic contrast as well

  19. Pink Floyd Created in 1965 as blues band • Became more classically, psychedelically oriented when Gilmour replaces Barrett in 1968 • Evident in • Song cycles: Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here • The Wall – operatic • Use of musique concrete on albums • Complex time signatures, layering of sound, sound mass, complex forms

  20. Pink Floyd - Money • Cash register sounds at beginning – musique concrete • Seven beats per measure: 3+2+2 = additive meter

  21. Progressive Rock • Adopts not only techniques, but also forms and stature of Classical music • Examples • Genesis (early) • Emerson, Lake, and Palmer • King Crimson • Yes

  22. Yes • Classically trained musicians, interested in creating rock structured like Classical music • Most songs long, multi-sectional, approximate Classical genres like sonata, suite, concerto

  23. Yes – Roundabout • Introduction • Crescendo (building) of sound • Dissolves into guitar playing harmonics • Creates “ringing” sound • Classically influenced melody • A – Verse • 10 bars long; extra 2 beat bar at beginning and ending create unbalanced feeling • A – Verse (repeated) • B section • Another A B exchange • A theme and vocal line + repeating pattern established = minimalist influence

  24. Yes – Roundabout • Interlude – same as intro, but repeating pattern continues • Organ solo • A and B repeated • Choral section • Sound mass • Seven beat measures • Outro = intro

  25. Glam Rock • Offshoot of art rock • Rock as theatre and spectacle • Bands, but primarily singers, assume persona on stage, in studio • Exs. • T Rex (Bang a Gong) • Kiss • Queen • Alice Cooper • David Bowie

  26. David Bowie (David Robert Jones, 1947 - ) • During early career, assumed different persona for nearly every album • Above: Aladdin Sane, 1973 • Below: Thin White Duke, 1976

  27. David Bowie – Hang On To Yourself • During reign of most enduring Bowie character, Ziggy Stardust • Introduced with album of same name • Hang On To Yourself • Role playing throughout song • Lyrics constantly shift tense, persona • Vocal tone altered for every section • Vocal and instrumental hooks saturate texture • Hallmark of the Bowie style • Spare, uncluttered texture