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Has the definition of prog changed at some point?

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AFlowerKingCrimson View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:12
When I say "at some point" it could be five years ago or it could be twenty or thirty. I wasn't really given enough space in the subject line to be more specific. The important thing is how has the definition of prog changed since the seventies, eighties, nineties or whatever. I know some people are still stuck in the past but over all I think what is considered prog these days is a lot wider than what used to be allowed. For example I often see Radiohead, Muse, Phish, Tool, etc etc considered to be prog(and I have no problem with that)as well as tons more bands who are really very song oriented. I know some people have a very stringent definition of prog but I don't and I'm wondering how strict your definition is and also do you think for the most part the general consensus of what is prog has relaxed a bit or does it still have to have all these hard and fast rules(long songs at least ten minutes, lots of time changes, lots of solos and long instrumental passages, capes, unicorns, dragons, fairy dust etc). Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:25
Yeah, after about 1977 it seemed to become a moving target. Its like Jazz. There are bands linked to it by carrying an element like frequent key modulations. Then another band will have elements have the original band that maybe were not considered jazz at all, but are then somehow linked to it by association. 

When it gets right down to it, the concept of prog purity is a bit contradictory. Stylistic transcendence is, after all, one of the tenets of the faith.   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Atavachron Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:27
Capes and dragons are still crucial but yeah I'd say the professional, even the popular, definition of Prog has evolved to mean any rock that is progressive instead of just stuff that reminds us of Yes or Rush.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Larkstongue41 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:55
I tend to think my definition of prog is much larger than most people's. I have issues with seeing prog as a genre. Instead I prefer to consider it as an approach towards composing music. Commercially available music is either prog or pop to me. Innovative and truly original music challenging conventional structures is prog while pretty much everything else is pop (excluding traditional music and a few other exceptions). For example, King Crimson and Tangerine Dream are both prog bands although sharing virtually nothing in common. On the other hand, despite being often praised as the two most successful prog acts, Yes and Rush surely have had their pop moments. By the way I really like a lot of pop music; I don't mean to be condescending towards it.

As for the evolution of the term over time, I don't think it changed at all apart from the fact that the availability of music has tremendously increased since the 70s. People's definition of prog necessarily relies on the prog music they have heard. My definition of prog was radically different when I listened to Pink Floyd, Genesis and Camel than it is right now. So obviously in the 70s the perception of prog was based on the most popular bands (due to the lack of internet most notably) therefore explaining people's tendency to associate prog with science-fiction themes and flutes, keyboards, etc. 


Edited by Larkstongue41 - February 15 2017 at 19:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:55
Regionalism plays a huge role as well. I grew up in a city which thought Rush was way too metal for the classic rock radio station.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hercules Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 16:58
Prog was initially a term for music that was not specifically recorded to be a hit single and which showed some combination of either a degree of experimentation, or complexity or a higher standard of technical ability than simple pop.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:01
Originally posted by Larkstongue41 Larkstongue41 wrote:

I tend to think my definition of prog is much larger than most people's. I have issues with seeing prog as a genre. Instead I prefer to consider it as an approach towards composing music. Commercially available music is either prog or pop to me. Innovative and truly original music challenging conventional structures is prog while pretty much everything else is pop (excluding traditional music and a few other exceptions). For example, King Crimson and Tangerine Dream are both prog bands although sharing virtually nothing in common. On the other hand, despite being often praised as the two most successful prog acts, Yes and Rush surely have had their pop moments.

As for the evolution of the term over time, I don't think it changed at all apart from the fact that the availability of music has tremendously increased since the 70s. People's definition of prog necessarily relies on the prog music they have heard. My definition of prog was radically different when I listened to Pink Floyd, Genesis and Camel than it is right now. So obviously in the 70s the perception of prog was based on the most popular bands (due to the lack of internet most notably) therefore explaining people's tendency to associate prog with science-fiction themes and flutes, keyboards, etc. 

Well said
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:17
Originally posted by Tapfret Tapfret wrote:

Regionalism plays a huge role as well. I grew up in a city which thought Rush was way too metal for the classic rock radio station.

I don't remember hearing Metallica, Iron Maiden or Black Sabbath on the radio much for probably the same reason. Rush were never really in that boat(at least not where I lived)so they never had that problem. I heard them on the radio quite a bit(and still do actually).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:21
Originally posted by Hercules Hercules wrote:

Prog was initially a term for music that was not specifically recorded to be a hit single and which showed some combination of either a degree of experimentation, or complexity or a higher standard of technical ability than simple pop.

That's true and while I do feel that still applies to some degree I don't think that's the only music that is marketed as prog. I kind of blame neo prog for that(even though I don't really have a problem with it). After neo prog came around it seems like anything with a keyboard solo was considered prog. I don't think in the seventies(early seventies anyway) bands like Saga, Marillion and certainly not Asia would be considered prog. I think prog had to become more commercial sounding in order to survive(enter neo prog)and I think that is one of the reasons the genre became so expansive. Plus a lot of these newer bands while many still adventurous in their own way had a lot of the influences from these second and third wave prog bands(Saga, Marillion, IQ, Spock's Beard, PT etc). 




Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - February 15 2017 at 17:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Replayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:22

No, the definition of prog has not changed at all since October 10th, 1969. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:24
Originally posted by Replayer Replayer wrote:

No, the definition of prog has not changed at all since October 10th, 1969. Smile


So it's still the same as when Hot Rats was released? Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Replayer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 17:33
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

Originally posted by Replayer Replayer wrote:

No, the definition of prog has not changed at all since October 10th, 1969. Smile


So it's still the same as when Hot Rats was released? Wink
Good one. I had In the Court of the Crimson King in mind, but what I was subtly implying was that the definition of prog had to change simply due to more bands coming on the scene and adding new influences, while borrowing elements from their predecessors, as well as existing bands evolving their sound.


Edited by Replayer - February 15 2017 at 17:33
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 18:09
This is not mathematics. Outside mathematics (and perhaps law) there are no fixed definitions. Some people introduce a term and it starts to change at the very latest when some other people start using it.
Prog will change as long as it's alive.
(Also, from another angle, I believe that the impression that any two person's definitions of anything interesting could be the same can only be the result of imprecise observation.)

To be more specific, for example post rock came up at some point. So suddenly there was a requirement to decide whether that's prog or not (or partly). At this point the prog definition necessarily had to change because it had to be drawn through hitherto unknown territory regardless of whether post rock was in or out.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 18:28
Not everyone considers post rock to be prog(or part of prog). 

Edited by AFlowerKingCrimson - February 16 2017 at 08:00
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewian Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 19:19
Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

But here's the thing. Not everyone considers post rock to be prog(or part of prog). 

That thing was in my posting already. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tapfret Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 19:32
Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:

This is not mathematics. Outside mathematics (and perhaps law) there are no fixed definitions. Some people introduce a term and it starts to change at the very latest when some other people start using it.

Math rock and math metal are then the obvious only true constants!

Deduction! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Catcher10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 15 2017 at 20:04
It has as people think the Beatles are prog.....since what they did was just like KC, Yes, Tull, VdGG and of course Can.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AFlowerKingCrimson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2017 at 08:02
Originally posted by Lewian Lewian wrote:

Originally posted by AFlowerKingCrimson AFlowerKingCrimson wrote:

But here's the thing. Not everyone considers post rock to be prog(or part of prog). 

That thing was in my posting already.

No, it wasn't. Tongue Wink

There is no thing anyway. Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Manuel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2017 at 08:49
Originally posted by Tapfret Tapfret wrote:

When it gets right down to it, the concept of prog purity is a bit contradictory. Stylistic transcendence is, after all, one of the tenets of the faith.   
Well said. Since we are mostly relying on personal opinions and tastes, it is hard not to find contradiction among the fans, some are quite hard core, some more accepting, traditional, liberal, etc. Like with everything, what prog is will never find a answer/definition that satisfies everyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kingsnake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 16 2017 at 09:03
When I grew up, progrock didn't exist. It was called symphonic rock. And the pop-encyclopedia named bands like Queen, Saga, Alan Parsons, John Miles, Kraan, Camel, King Crimson, Gentle Giant, Genesis, Supersister, ELO, Eloy, Triumvirat, Moody Blues, Procol Harum, Supertramp etc. etc.

You know, the oldies. Than suddenly the 90's appeared and the term progrock emerged and then all got lost: suddenly there was neoprog, eclectic prog, prog related, and all the subgenres.

I still tend to call it symphonic rock (the oldies) and the newer bands (Porcupine Tree, Tool, Opeth) progrock or progmetal.
And then there's all also spacerock and psychrock wich was a different ballgame and suddenly it's progrock aswell.
And then there's fusion/jazzrock that is suddenly also progrock.
 
I'm rambling again. sorry...
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