A Sociology of Progressive Rock

Edward Macan

in Rocking the Classics

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195098884
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853236 | DOI:
A Sociology of Progressive Rock

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By considering the contribution of the colleges, universities, and the Anglican Church to the formation of progressive rock, this chapter shows how the style perfectly reflects its origins in an intellectual, southeastern English youth-based subculture; it could have hardly developed elsewhere. Nonetheless, progressive rock in England would have achieved only a fraction of its ultimate success had it not found massive commercial acceptance in the United States. This chapter examines the reception of progressive rock not only by its original audience, English hippies, but also by the large, youth-based American taste public which made the style a substantial commercial phenomenon between the early and mid-1970s. The chapter also considers the social significance of progressive rock's classical/rock fusion by looking at its compositional methods, which unite African-American music's allowance for spontaneity and individual expression with European classical music's potential for large-scale organization and expansion.

Keywords: progressive rock; England; United States; hippies; classical/rock fusion; compositional methods; African-American music; classical music; spontaneity; individual expression

Chapter.  11261 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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