Edward Macan

in Rocking the Classics

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780195098884
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199853236 | DOI:

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In studying the rise of musical styles it is also important to remember that composers or elite musicians do not create musical styles; people do. No matter how musically promising a style may appear, its cultural power will ultimately depend on the degree to which it fulfills the role of self-definition among a group of people and not on its potential for purely musical development. In the end, the attempts of progressive rock's most ardent supporters to keep it alive in a state of unchanging, pristine “perfection” distorts, to a certain degree at least, one of the major reasons for progressive rock's importance: its role as a mirror through which the cultural history of the 1970s can be viewed. The whole underlying goal of progressive rock—to draw together rock, classical music, jazz, folk music, and avant-garde styles into a new metastyle that would supersede them all—is inherently optimistic.

Keywords: musical styles; progressive rock; rock; classical music; jazz; folk music; avant-garde; metastyle; cultural history

Chapter.  1543 words. 

Subjects: Popular Music

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