Rock as a reflection of cultural change
How, then, should rock's contribution to music history be judged? One way to answer this is to trace rock's influences on other musics; another is to attempt a kind of cultural audit (What is the ratio of rock masterworks to rock dross?). But such approaches come up against the problem of definition. Rock does not so much influence other musics as colonize them, blurring musical boundaries. Any attempt to establish an objective rock canon is equally doomed to failure--rock is not this sort of autonomous, rule-bound aesthetic form.
Its cultural value must be approached from a different perspective. The question is not How has rock influenced society? but rather How has it reflected society? From the musician's point of view, for example, the most important change since the 1950s has been in the division of music-making labour. When Elvis Presley became a star, there were clear distinctions between the work of the performer, writer, arranger, session musician, record producer, and sound engineer. By the time Public Enemy was recording, such distinctions had broken down from both ends: performers wrote, arranged, and produced their own material; engineers made as significant a musical contribution as anyone else to the creation of a recorded sound. Technological developments--multitrack tape recorders, amplifiers, synthesizers, and digital equipment--had changed the meaning of musical instruments; there was no longer a clear distinction between producing a sound and reproducing it.
From a listener's point of view, too, the distinction between music and noise changed dramatically in the second half of the 20th century. Music became ubiquitous, whether in public places (an accompaniment to every sort of activity), in the home (with a radio, CD player, or cassette player in every room), or in blurring the distinction between public and private use of music (a Walkman, boom box, or karaoke machine). The development of the compact disc only accelerated the process that makes music from any place and any time permanently available. Listening to music no longer refers to a special place or occasion but, rather, a special attention--a decision to focus on a given sound at a given moment.
Rock is the music that has directly addressed these new conditions and kept faith with the belief that music is a form of human conversation, even as it is mediated by television and radio and by filmmakers and advertisers. The rock commitment to access--to doing mass music for oneself--has survived despite the centralization of production and the ever-increasing costs of manufacture, promotion, and distribution. Rock remains the most democratic of mass media--the only one in which voices from the margins of society can still be heard out loud.
I V. ROCK SUBCULTURES
Main Entry: hip·pie
Variant(s): or hip·py /'hi-pE/
Inflected Form(s): plural hippies
Etymology: 4hip + -ie
: a usually young person who rejects the mores of established society (as by dressing unconventionally or favoring communal living) and advocates a nonviolent ethic; broadly : a long-haired unconventionally dressed young person
- hip·pie·dom /-pE-d&m/ noun
- hip·pie·ness or hip·pi·ness /-pE-n&s/ noun
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Hippie, member of a youth movement of the late 1960s that was characterized by nonviolent anarchy, concern for the environment, and rejection of Western materialism. Also known as flower power, the hippie movement originated in San Francisco, California. The hippies formed a politically outspoken, antiwar, artistically prolific counterculture in North America and Europe. Their colorful psychedelic style was inspired by drugs such as the hallucinogen Lysergic Acid Diethylamid (LSD). This style emerged in fashion, graphic art, and music by bands such as Love, the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and PinkFloyd.
Main Entry: 1punk
Etymology: origin unknown
1 archaic : PROSTITUTE
2 [probably partly from 3punk] : NONSENSE, FOOLISHNESS
3 a : a young inexperienced person : BEGINNER, NOVICE; especially : a young man b : a usually petty gangster, hoodlum, or ruffian c : a youth used as a homosexual partner
4 a : PUNK ROCK b : a punk rock musician c : one who affects punk styles
Main Entry: 2punk
1 : very poor : INFERIOR
2 : being in poor health
3 a : of or relating to punk rock b : relating to or being a style (as of dress or hair) inspired by punk rock
- punk·ish /'p&[ng]-kish/ adjective
Main Entry: 3punk
Etymology: perhaps alteration of spunk
1 : wood so decayed as to be dry, crumbly, and useful for tinder
2 : a dry spongy substance prepared from fungi (genus Fomes) and used to ignite fuses especially of fireworks
Main Entry: punk rock
: rock music marked by extreme and often deliberately offensive expressions of alienation and social discontent
- punk rocker noun
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
PUNK also known as PUNK ROCK aggressive form of rock music that coalesced into an international (though predominantly Anglo-American) movement in 1975-80. Often politicized and full of vital energy beneath a sarcastic, hostile facade, punk spread as an ideology and an aesthetic approach, becoming an archetype of teen rebellion and alienation.
Black leather jackets adorned with shiny metal spikes and studs, combat boots, spike multi-colored mohawks (mohawk - a strip of hair left on the top of the head, running from front to back), slam dancing, and fast 3-chord rock and roll;