1. What is rock?
The difficulty of definition
Dictionary definitions of rock are problematic, not least because the term has different resonance in its British and American usages (the latter is broader in compass). There is basic agreement that rock "is a form of music with a strong beat," but it is difficult to be much more explicit. The Collins Cobuild English Dictionary, based on a vast database of British usage, suggests that "rock is a kind of music with simple tunes and a very strong beat that is played and sung, usually loudly, by a small group of people with electric guitars and drums," but there are so many exceptions to this description that it is practically useless.
Legislators seeking to define rock for regulatory purposes have not done much better. The Canadian government defined "rock and rock-oriented music" as "characterized by a strong beat, the use of blues forms and the presence of rock instruments such as electric guitar, electric bass, electric organ or electric piano." This assumes that rock can be marked off from other sorts of music formally, according to its sounds. In practice, though, the distinctions that matter for rock fans and musicians have been ideological. Rock was developed as a term to distinguish certain music-making and listening practices from those associated with pop; what was at issue was less a sound than an attitude. In 1990 British legislators defined pop music as "all kinds of music characterized by a strong rhythic element and a reliance on electronic amplification for their performance." This led to strong objections from the music industry that such a definition failed to appreciate the clear sociological difference between pop ("instant singles-based music aimed at teenagers") and rock ("album-based music for adults"). In pursuit of definitional clarity, the lawmakers misunderstood what made rock music matter.
Crucial rock musicians
For lexicographers and legislators alike, the purpose of definition is to grasp a meaning, to hold it in place, so that people can use a word correctly--for example, to assign a track to its proper radio outlet (rock, pop, country, jazz). The trouble is that the term rock describes an evolving musical practice informed by a variety of nonmusical arguments (about creativity, sincerity, commerce, and popularity). It makes more sense, then, to approach the definition of rock historically, with examples. The following musicians were crucial to rock's history. What do they have in common?
Elvis Presley, from Memphis, Tennessee, personified a new form of American popular music in the mid-1950s. Rock and roll was a guitar-based sound with a strong (if loose) beat that drew equally on African-American and white traditions from the southern United States, on blues, church music, and country music. Presley's rapid rise to national stardom revealed the new cultural and economic power of both teenagers and teen-aimed media--records, radio, television, and motion pictures.
The Beatles, from Liverpool, England (via Hamburg, Germany), personified a new form of British popular music in the 1960s. Mersey beat was a British take on the black and white musical mix of rock and roll: a basic lineup of lead guitar, rhyth guitar, bass guitar, and drums (with shared vocals) provided local live versions of American hit records of all sorts. The Beatles added to this an artistic self-consciousness, soon writing their own songs and using the recording studio to develop their own--rather than a commercial producer's--musical ideas. The group's unprecedented success in the United States ensured that rock would be an Anglo-American phenomenon.
Bob Dylan, from Hibbing, Minnesota (via New York City), personified a new form of American music in the mid-1960s. Dylan brought together the amplified beat of rock and roll, the star imagery of pop, the historical and political sensibility of folk, and--through the wit, ambition, and obscurity of his lyrics--the arrogance of urban bohemia. He gave the emerging rock scene artistic weight (his was album, not Top 40, music) and a new account of youth as an ideological rather than a demographic category.
Реферат опубликован: 7/06/2006