The Progressive Rock Style The Music

Edward Macan

in Rocking the Classics

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195098884
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853236 | DOI:
The Progressive Rock Style The Music

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This chapter examines the progressive rock style as it emerged during its “golden age” of roughly 1970 to 1976. It shows that the progressive rock style is indebted to the classical tradition in the realms of instrumentation, structure, and virtuosity, and demonstrates a clear link between the genre's modal harmony and the legacy of folk music. It also highlights a number of clear homologies that can be drawn between progressive rock as a musical style and the counterculture of the late 1960s and early 1970s. For instance, progressive rock's juxtaposition of “masculine” and “feminine” sections can be seen to symbolize many of the conflicts that were of great importance to the hippies. Furthermore, a clear connection can be drawn between the style's wayward modal harmony and the counterculture's acid-induced sense of time (or timelessness).

Keywords: progressive rock; instrumentation; structure; virtuosity; counterculture; modal harmony; folk music; hippies; sense of time

Chapter.  12740 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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