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The Musical Language of Rock

David Temperley

ISBN 10: 0190870524 / ISBN 13: 9780190870522
Published by Oxford University Press, 2018
New Condition: New Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Musical Language of Rock

Publisher: Oxford University Press

Publication Date: 2018

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

About this title

Synopsis:

In all of the books about rock music, relatively few focus on the purely musical dimensions of the style: dimensions of harmony and melody, tonality and scale, rhythm and meter, phrase structure and form, and emotional expression. The Musical Language of Rock puts forth a new, comprehensive theoretical framework for the study of rock music by addressing each of these aspects. Eastman music theorist and cognition researcher David Temperley brings together a conventional music-analytic approach with statistical corpus analysis to offer an innovative and insightful approach to the genre.

With examples from across a broadly defined rock idiom encompassing everything from the Beatles to Deep Purple, Michael Jackson to Bonnie Raitt, The Musical Language of Rock shows how rock musicians exploit musical parameters to achieve aesthetic and expressive goals-for example, the manipulation of expectation and surprise, the communication of such oppositions as continuity/closure and tension/relaxation, and the expression of emotional states. A major innovation of the book is a three-dimensional model of musical expression-representing valence, energy, and tension-which proves to be a powerful tool for characterizing songs and also for tracing expressive shifts within them. The book includes many musical examples, with sound clips available on the book's website. TheMusical Language of Rock presents new insights on the powerful musical mechanisms which have made rock a hallmark of our contemporary musical landscape.

Review:

. . . [T]he best book I know of on the subject. Prof. Temperley brings to bear his expertise in musical structure, statistical analysis, and cognition theory to music that he clearly loves, resulting in a thorough foundation covering everything from harmony to emotional content. A tour de force! (Ken Stephenson, author of What to Listen for in Rock)

This impressive book will be crucial reading for anyone interested in the theory and analysis of rock, and especially those seeking new and better ways to describe the 'aha' moments in the songs they love. (Mark Spicer, Professor of Music, Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York)

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