Albin J. Zak III

in The Poetics of Rock

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2001 | ISBN: 9780520218093
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520928152 | DOI:

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This chapter highlights the language and rhetoric of record making. Connections among records can be subtle, obvious, or any shade in between—from wispy allusions to direct quotations. The association may occur in a number of ways—through lyrics or musical syntactic elements such as grooves or chord progressions, of course, but also through sounds, performance practices, and recording techniques. Resonance occurs at the level of song, arrangement, and track. Whatever the degree and nature of the connection, interpreting its meaning is a personal matter for the listener. Records circulate and connect with one another through the agency of listeners, whose accumulated listening experience, sensitivity, and reasons for listening differ from one to another. The effectiveness of such an interpretation derives from the fact that the practice of intertextual reference—in the broadest sense—is so prevalent in rock. It serves as a contextualizing force that situates the individual recording within a galaxy of other recordings and provides the listener with all sorts of clues as to style, rhetorical sense, and aesthetic stance.

Keywords: direct quotation; chord progression; intertextual reference; individual recording; rhetorical sense; grooves

Chapter.  5504 words. 

Subjects: American Music

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