The Musical Language of Rock

ISBN : 9780190653774

David Temperley
312 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2018
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The Musical Language of Rock puts forth a new, comprehensive theoretical framework for the study of rock music. Combining a conventional music-analytic approach with statistical corpus analysis, the book shows how rock songs "play" with the conventions of the style, and how this contributes to their effect and appeal.


About the Companion Website
1. Introduction
1.1 The music of rock
1.2 What is rock?
1.3 Controversial issues
1.4 The corpus
2. Scales and Key
2.1 Scales in rock: Previous views
2.2 A corpus approach to scales in rock
2.3 Key-finding
3. Harmony
3.1 The chordal vocabulary
3.2 Harmonic progression
3.3 The Line-of-fifths Axis
3.4 Common harmonic schemata
3.5 Linear and common-tone logic
3.6 Tonicization, cadences, and pedal points
4. Rhythm and Meter
4.1 Meter in rock
4.2 Syncopation and cross-rhythm
4.3 Harmonic rhythm
4.4 Hypermeter
4.5 Irregular meter
5. Melody
5.1 Melodic grouping
5.2 Motive, repetition, and rhyme
5.3 Melodic-harmonic divorce
5.4 Mediant mixture and blue notes
6. Timbre and Instrumentation
6.1 Approaches to timbre
6.2 Guitar
6.3 Drums
6.4 Other instruments
6.5 The recording process
7. Emotion and Tension
7.1 The valence dimension
7.2 The energy dimension
7.3 Complexity and tension
7.4 Groove
8. Form
8.1 Basic formal types
8.2 The blues progression
8.3 Verse and chorus
8.4 Other section types
8.5 Ambiguous and unusual cases
9. Strategies
9.1 The VCU boundary
9.2 The cadential IV
9.3 Tensional curves
9.4 Shaping a song
9.5 Scalar and tonal shift
10. Analyses
10.1 Marvin Gaye, I Heard it Through the Grapevine
10.2 Elton John, Philadelphia Freedom
10.3 Fleetwood Mac, Landslide
10.4 U2, Sunday Bloody Sunday
10.5 Alanis Morrisette, You Oughta Know
10.6 Destiny's Child, Jumpin' Jumpin'
11. Rock in Broader Context
11.1 The roots of rock
11.2 Stylistic distinctions and changes within rock
11.3 Interactions and fusions
11.4 Rock after 2000

About the author: 

David Temperley is Professor of Music Theory at Eastman School of Music. He has published extensively in the fields of music cognition, music theory, and linguistics. His first book, The Cognition of Basic Musical Structures, won the Society for Music Theory's Emerging Scholar Award. He is also a composer and songwriter.

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