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Misinterpreting the term "prog"

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chamberry View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chamberry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Misinterpreting the term "prog"
    Posted: April 07 2013 at 20:53
Hey,

I've always had this confusion when I started listening to prog rock until I started listening to different sorts of music. 

Why do we take the term "prog rock" as being "progressive", that is to say, as if it was the only rock genre that progresses, that's evolved, that never stagnates, that's always new, different, from what "normal music" is?

Think about it. That's a big statement, and quite ignorant considering the history of popular music since, well, jazz.

I mean, wasn't jazz a progress from the classical music academia, a less strict, more available way of making music?
Wasn't psychedelic rock a progress from standard R&B pop singles?
Wasn't punk a progress from the stagnant waters of the highly elitist music journalism and prog dinosaurs of the 70's?
Wasn't synth pop a progress from the traditional way of playing music?
Wasn't industrial a progress from the strict definition of music?
Wasn't post-punk a progress from punk?
Wasn't metal a progress from the hard rock of the early 70's?
Wasn't techno a progress from the experimental, amoeba-like, electronic music from the krautrock era?

The list goes on and on.

Why does the ghost of "progress" still clings to, what we consider, prog rock? We know that the term was labeled in a specific time and place, for a specific type of music. We know that progressive rock is this sort of rock that has this and that characteristics... But why do we still believe that prog rock is synonymous with a progress, of some sort, in music, and still shun bands that don't fit into the mold?  Surely there was confusion between the term progressive and the genre progressive rock, but why does it still stand? Haven't we got enough music to listen to to realize that that's not true?

As if prog rock, as a genre, was the sole place where one could find revolutionary musical ideas...
As if progress, had a mold that one needs to fit in...

Really?

If prog rock is synonymous with progress in music, then PUNK should be prog rock as well! It's an absurd statement that can be justified with the same line of reasoning used by people who think that prog rock is the same as progressive-thinking music... and progress in music can include a strive for simplicity, a strive for a break from the mold, a strive for a distancing from what prog rock is.

Can we just get over the fact that prog rock is simply a label, a genre, and not a term that encompasses all progress in musical thought?

Can we stop being such elitist c*nts, for once, and actually learn from our errors? Embarrassed

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Post Options Post Options   Quote chamberry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 20:55
I'm trying to stir things up since my last visit to the forums. It seems quite tame nowadays.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote rushfan4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 20:56
If it ain't a blast from the past.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote presdoug Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 21:49
Let's just listen to the music we like and enjoy it.
"and what music unites, man should not take apart"--Helmut Koellen                               
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chamberry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 22:10
^ True that, but it's a nag to hear people confusing the term over and over again... So I want to be a nag too. You know, confront the doubt instead of just going with it or ignoring it, because a lot of people are missing out on awesome music because of it, too.

Also. rushfan4, I'm glad to see you too, bro.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Progosopher Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 07 2013 at 23:42
There are different kinds of changes in music as there is in life itself.  The music scene undergoes change continuously, modification may be a better term than progressing, since the latter implies some sort of improvement while the former does not.  Punk was a modification of rock in the 70s, and in many ways was a response to what we now are calling Prog Rock.  We can only call it an improvement if we dislike the Prog Rock of the time and like Punk better.  The progressive in Prog Rock does not mean that the music is modified from earler forms and artists, but that the music itself progresses from its base, similar to how a classical piece progresses from its initial themes and structures.  I like to listen to music that undergoes changes in the course of an individual piece or a set of related pieces.  This applies as much to Prog Rock and it does to Classical, and I listen to both.  And still, there are many ways this can be done.
The world of sound is certainly capable of infinite variety and, were our sense developed, of infinite extensions. -- George Santayana, "The Sense of Beauty"
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 01:42
I thought that most of us have long got over this subject and do not equate progressiveness in music with prog rock as a label for a certain style of music.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 01:45
I tend to follow Ian Anderson's view on the subject. ''Prog rock'' started about 1972 with Thick As A Brick etc. The progressiveness that existed in rock music lasted all the way to about 1971 (Tarkus, Nursery Cryme, Aqualung). After that there was more or less a set approach ( complexity being the major stylistic theme). I like the term 'prog rock' and I believe that most understand what that means. 


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Post Options Post Options   Quote sukmytoe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 01:47
I think that the "Prog" side of prog rock doesn't mean progression in terms of time periods - that it does mean progression within the music itself. I see "prog" as music that has progressed beyond the standard in terms of complexity and structure - not as anything more or less than that. Thus Punk, for example, was a movement or a fad, if you will, that spawned the kind of music that we refer to as punk irrelevantly of how it started. There is nothing wrong with "a progressive punk band" - if a band played a more complex  form of punk rock - falling within the progressive sphere as we understand it. However Punk was never progressive in itself although it progressed from standard rock music. The same would apply to Disco, Grunge etc etc.
A standard metal band - although metal itself is progressive due to the fact that it progressed from rock music - is not progressive in itself. Again, to me, it's all about complexity, structure and a progression beyond the norm of a standard form irrelevantly of where that form came from or progressed from in terms of time. Damn - I nearly confused myself there - heh heh.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Kotro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 04:42
Welcome back, Ruben, and might I add, not a moment too soon. Clap

As for the matter at hand, personally I never had that view of Prog being "progressive" - my opinion has always been much closer to what sukmytoe posted above. Trouble is, as a term for describing music it only made sense when it was initially coined, it has long been obsolete. What we have today and how to classify it... I really don't know and, frankly, don't think I really care anymore.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 07:56
Is techno a progress from Krautrock? I'd call it  a regress. I have never liked Kraftwerk,  they are already synth-pop. 
A change is not always a progress. I don't dislike Punk, but it was a regress from rock and roll of the 50s, nothing to do with dinosaurs. 
If for synth-pop we mean the use of a Yamaha DX7 to Fairlight in a Howard Jones sense, I prefer sticking to traditional ways (even though I don't know what's the meaning: celtic? Polka? Guitar, Bass and Drums?)



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Post Options Post Options   Quote TODDLER Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 09:37
Originally posted by chamberry

Hey,

I've always had this confusion when I started listening to prog rock until I started listening to different sorts of music. 

Why do we take the term "prog rock" as being "progressive", that is to say, as if it was the only rock genre that progresses, that's evolved, that never stagnates, that's always new, different, from what "normal music" is?

Think about it. That's a big statement, and quite ignorant considering the history of popular music since, well, jazz.

I mean, wasn't jazz a progress from the classical music academia, a less strict, more available way of making music?
Wasn't psychedelic rock a progress from standard R&B pop singles?
Wasn't punk a progress from the stagnant waters of the highly elitist music journalism and prog dinosaurs of the 70's?
Wasn't synth pop a progress from the traditional way of playing music?
Wasn't industrial a progress from the strict definition of music?
Wasn't post-punk a progress from punk?
Wasn't metal a progress from the hard rock of the early 70's?
Wasn't techno a progress from the experimental, amoeba-like, electronic music from the krautrock era?

The list goes on and on.

Why does the ghost of "progress" still clings to, what we consider, prog rock? We know that the term was labeled in a specific time and place, for a specific type of music. We know that progressive rock is this sort of rock that has this and that characteristics... But why do we still believe that prog rock is synonymous with a progress, of some sort, in music, and still shun bands that don't fit into the mold?  Surely there was confusion between the term progressive and the genre progressive rock, but why does it still stand? Haven't we got enough music to listen to to realize that that's not true?

As if prog rock, as a genre, was the sole place where one could find revolutionary musical ideas...
As if progress, had a mold that one needs to fit in...

Really?

If prog rock is synonymous with progress in music, then PUNK should be prog rock as well! It's an absurd statement that can be justified with the same line of reasoning used by people who think that prog rock is the same as progressive-thinking music... and progress in music can include a strive for simplicity, a strive for a break from the mold, a strive for a distancing from what prog rock is.

Can we just get over the fact that prog rock is simply a label, a genre, and not a term that encompasses all progress in musical thought?

Can we stop being such elitist c*nts, for once, and actually learn from our errors? Embarrassed
 
I understand where you are going with this and I believe the analogy which may be hard for you to stomach was invented by musicians. It has more to do with the science of formulas and the lyrical concepts as well, but also the attitude of seasoned musicians with their cruel thrusts against Punk. Probably a mentality that developed long ago and has cemented it's meaning for decades into the minds of fans. You may have to start a revolution to end it. Think about it and compare the accusation I make of musicians to the pattern of history.   
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dysoriented Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 12:13
Genres are genres, genres are labels, labels are words, words are groups of letters. Isn't it all one big progression? LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 14:24
Originally posted by richardh

I tend to follow Ian Anderson's view on the subject. ''Prog rock'' started about 1972 with Thick As A Brick etc. The progressiveness that existed in rock music lasted all the way to about 1971 (Tarkus, Nursery Cryme, Aqualung). After that there was more or less a set approach ( complexity being the major stylistic theme). I like the term 'prog rock' and I believe that most understand what that means. 


 
Not sure what Anderson is talking about here since ITCOTCK was in '69...and that was certainly progressive rock imo. Is he just referring to when the term was coined..?
Confused
 
 
Chanberrry said, " Can we just get over the fact that prog rock is simply a label, a genre, and not a term that encompasses all progress in musical thought?"
I think most here would agree with that...so what point  is 'Chanberry' trying to make...?


Edited by dr wu23 - April 08 2013 at 14:29
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Post Options Post Options   Quote brainstormer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 14:37
I don't think Prog means "progressive rock" or "art rock" meas progressive rock.  For instance, the modern fine art world is often pretty regressive, sometimes  could even be considered big investment scams set up by collectors and some art magazines. The museums are following suit, quite often.  Progressive Rock should be progressing in the usual criteria of music used historically for serious music.  Art rock can just be the "greasy spoon aesthetic" of heroin influenced music done even more drony and crappily then before.   There are "progressive" elements in some rock bands that I have a hard time considering Prog.  The term Prog has a dear spot in my mind.  To me, it basically means progressive rock that shares traditional spiritual values that were pretty common before the 1980s.  There is some modern progressive rock that is nihilistic and actually sounds like circus music and I have a hard time associating that with Prog. When I say spiritual values, I could even say cultural values.



Edited by brainstormer - April 08 2013 at 14:41
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Post Options Post Options   Quote richardh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 08 2013 at 15:22
Originally posted by dr wu23

Originally posted by richardh

I tend to follow Ian Anderson's view on the subject. ''Prog rock'' started about 1972 with Thick As A Brick etc. The progressiveness that existed in rock music lasted all the way to about 1971 (Tarkus, Nursery Cryme, Aqualung). After that there was more or less a set approach ( complexity being the major stylistic theme). I like the term 'prog rock' and I believe that most understand what that means. 


 
Not sure what Anderson is talking about here since ITCOTCK was in '69...and that was certainly progressive rock imo. Is he just referring to when the term was coined..?
Confused
 
 
Chanberrry said, " Can we just get over the fact that prog rock is simply a label, a genre, and not a term that encompasses all progress in musical thought?"
I think most here would agree with that...so what point  is 'Chanberry' trying to make...?

He was considering 'prog rock' to be a bi-product of 'progressive rock' I think

'prog' tends to describe a lot of noodling for the sake of it,arty conceptual music and Roger Dean album covers. 
Personally I like the term for that reasonLOL


Edited by richardh - April 08 2013 at 15:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Formentera Lady Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 06:58
Originally posted by dr wu23

Chanberrry said, " Can we just get over the fact that prog rock is simply a label, a genre, and not a term that encompasses all progress in musical thought?"
I think most here would agree with that...so what point  is 'Chanberry' trying to make...?

I think the point he wants to make is, that some people criticize music, if they sound too much like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson etc, as being derivative and give it a bad review.
Luckily, what I see is, that the majority here does not seem to have this attitude.
I agree with Chanberry and probably with the majority, that 'prog rock' is a genre with certain characteristics, and is not "progressive" as such.
I am a prog rock DJ in Second Life under the name Exiles Lavender. My stream URL.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 07:02
There is a difference between "prog" and "progressive".
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 07:04
Originally posted by chamberry

Wasn't punk a progress from the stagnant waters of the highly elitist music journalism and prog dinosaurs of the 70's?
 
In what way was punk a musical progression from prog?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 09 2013 at 09:24
There is no one interpretation of prog so there is no question of misinterpreting it.   Prog started out with exploration and experimentation hence the interpretation of prog as a progressive ideal is also valid.   I consider both ideas of prog - as a genre and as an approach - valid and I do have a problem if the latter is sought to be vetoed.   Prog metal is dissimilar to symph prog or any other 70s prog genre on several counts so if prog was ONLY a genre, prog metal would have never been recognised as such. 


Edited by rogerthat - April 09 2013 at 19:27
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