Music history Historical musicology, which was traditionally the most prominent subdiscipline of musicology, studies the history of music.
What began as an artistic movement, as an expression of counter-cultural angst, crossed continents into film studios, literature, poetry, theatres, art galleries and catwalks. By the mids, punk was a global commodity.
Punk, the bratty, snot-nosed upstart breed of rock and roll, built on anti-musicianship, built on the rejection of stadium rock, built on a sneering denial of technical skill, built - crucially - on the breakdown of the performer-audience relationship, on the attack against the musical mainstream - punk had now arrived squarely in that mainstream.
Yet the history of punk remains unwritten. But very little attempt has been made to trace the origins of the ideas at the root of punk rock, to understand the intellectual culture or the social and economic pressures that shaped this curious and enthralling bag of philosophies.
Punk began as a set of ideas espoused, shouted and blasted through power chords, distortion and breakneck drumming. This extraordinary culture grew up in America. Historians of punk, though they are very few, have hitherto suggested that punk as an identifiable form of rock and roll - with a distinct set of ideas - started or came to fruition in Britain.
Tricia Henry, whose Break All Rules! In America, she argues, the "underground rock movement consisted primarily of middle-class youths rejecting middle-class values.
In Britain, punk generally represented working-class youths reacting to the bourgeois status quo. As Henry shows, the New York "underground rock" scene profoundly influenced British punk and the later, more sharply ideological subdivisions like hardcore and Oi!
And there is no doubt that much of this music was deeply political. What did they believe punk to be, and why was it important? This history is still to be written. The history of punk as a dialogue, a particular dialect and a movement of ideas can be understood only with a new, cultural history.
A cultural and intellectual history of punk must begin in New York, with the intellectual culture of the punk scene. This culture had at its centre a collection of ideas.
Punk, to a large extent, fits into this history: Moreover, a history of the genre must consider the words and ideas of punk from punks themselves, from the oral accounts and fanzines, interviews and contemporary biographies.
This musical movement cannot be seen merely in terms of a radical departure within rock and roll, for that devalues its impact.
Historians must begin to place popular music at the centre of cultural histories, in the furnace of cultural creation. This research must attempt to contribute towards an understanding of music that it, like film, art or dance, is as valuable a medium of historical study as all other artistic forms.
Punk, by way of an example, shows that music can be as artistically expressive of ideas as film or art, and, by implication, popular music history to be as valuable to our understanding of our cultural past as the history of film or the history of art.
This research must focus on the primary accounts of musicians, promoters, producers, managers, roadies, groupies, reviewers and the voices of the age to highlight that music can carry and transform ideas in unique ways and can, for example, resonate in ways that the cinema or television cannot, can build cultures around itself owing to its own power and magnetism as an art form.
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Chronicles the history of rock and roll from its beginnings to the present day, describing how the music evolved and changed society.
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History of Rock, Part Two from University of Rochester. This course, part 2 of a 2-course sequence, examines the history of rock, primarily as it unfolded in the United States, from the early s to the early s. This course covers the music.