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Topic ClosedIs classical influence essential to prog rock?

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WeepingElf View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 07:17
I think the second definition in the original post is more or less correct.  My viewpoint is very similar.  Just doing something that is not usually done in rock doesn't make progressive rock, otherwise many things such as industrial rock or bands like The Velvet Underground would be "progressive rock" which they clearly aren't.  Even some UK punk rock could under such a definition be considered "progressive rock" because those people did break parts of the rock conventions!  Not all creative, unconventional or in the basic sense of the word "progressive" rock music is "progressive rock", which is just a conventional term for a particular current in rock music.

Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd are progressive rock bands, though, as their music does progress; even if they are perhaps less prototypically progressive rock than Yes or Genesis, and are more rooted in blues (JT also in folk music) than other classical progressive rock bands.

Outside rock music, the label "progressive" has been used in ways that have nothing to do with progressive rock.  Progressive jazz was a short-lived attempt by some California bandleaders (most notably Stan Kenton) of the late 1940s to combine big band jazz and neoclassicism; it remained a footnote in the history of jazz and did not meaningfully contribute to the prehistory of progressive rock.  In the electronic dance music scene, "progressive" refers to a particular type of track structure in which more and more layers of sound are progressively layered onto a groove, creating a texture that gradually becomes denser towards the end of the track.  This also has nothing to do with progressive rock; however, it did create some confusion as some rock journalists applied the term "progressive" to rock music with a similar structure as the progressive electronic styles, such as Tool or Isis.  (This, however, doesn't mean that this kind of "progressive rock" was rooted in progressive dance.  In fact, it owes more to industrial and psychedelic rock and post-rock; but it has nothing to do with progressive rock in the conventional sense, either.)

It is not necessary, though, to consciously draw on "classical" music, e.g. by writing a fugato, or a piece in sonata form.  However, anything in rock music that goes beyond the usual rock song format and involves a significant musical development will probably in some ways be similar to something in the Baroque-Classical-Romantic-Modernist tradition.



Edited by WeepingElf - December 29 2013 at 07:25
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 09:11
That's a good point, there is also something to the second definition's favour I can't believe hasn't been mentioned yet: Under the first definition it would be somewhat difficult to fit "new old school" prog rock bands under the same category as their influences, unless they've got a distinctive enough signature style.

Regarding Pink Floyd's status as progressive rock, Derogatis argues against it on the basis of 1) the band members themselves rejecting the categorization just like Jethro Tull's did 2) the classical elements in their music being nowhere as prominent as in what King Crimson were doing at the same time, or as integral to their sound as Genesis'.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 09:25
the most ifluentual musical genre in prog rock is IMO Ballad and what is featured as main themes in ballad style of tradition,   ballad is a form of verse, often a narrative set to music (Peter Gabriel and Ian Anderson comes to mind). Ballads were particularly characteristic of the popular poetry and song of the British Isles from the later medieval period until the 19th century

but it took a keft turn in  the 19s and 00s modern time  but still The form was often used by poets and composers from the 18th century onwards to produce lyrical ballads. In the later 19th century it took on the meaning of a slow form of popular love song and the term is now often used as synonymous with any love song, particularly the pop or rock power ballad.






Edited by aginor - December 29 2013 at 09:26
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 09:26
Arguing about music is like making love to a chainsaw.

Or something.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 09:37
I Would say nothing is ever 'essential' when honing certain influences in music weather it's from the classic period or modern period, however it is important to utilize your influences well since we are a race of creatures that prides itself in sharing information with others spread over a large period of time to go and develope as a specie. This is collectively how we grow and evolve as a race or specie if you will. So, mainly I'd say its not essential to look back at the classic period, but I would say its very important to do so. It's tough to be relevant as a new or even old Artist that doesn't have some defining or relevant influences in one's music. Every artist music comes from something or is inspired by someone.
It's true. It really is weather we want to believe it or not, but it doesn't mean that individually and uniqueness is compromised. Some people confuse 'influence' with copycating and that is incorrect.

As a musician or growing artist we all need a 'base' weather it be for creativity or for merely a starting point (inspiration) to create a piece of music in the first place. That's all there is to it I believe.

In music. Something doesn't come from nothing, so weather a young-inspiring musician wants to reflect on more of the classical period for music rather than the modern period it makes no difference because due to this point I am making, the music will have to stem from either the classical or modern period. It's not mandatory but it's really hard to Create something relevant or interesting without some musicial influence both from modern or classical. You won't make any money either. :(
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 10:13
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

[QUOTE=brainstormer]It's kind of funny that while I love much music that can only be considered Prog Rock, it's still "bubble gum" music for the most part.  For composers who aren't going for that youth market, liking Prog Rock puts one in a fantasy world in which its harder to take classical music seriously. 
 ...

 
So you are suggesting that Mozart, Bach, and many other composers never created "bubble gum" stuff?
 
Hmmm ... I'm wondering what music you are really listening to!
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 10:22
Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

 No one can compose like Berlioz, Brahms, Wagner, Bruckner, no one can sing like Caruso, Flagstad, no one can conduct like Toscanini, Beecham, Furtwangler, no one can play like Schnabel, Arrau, Backhaus. Yes, it has died. Except for the writings and recordings of that previous era, which a lot of people are sadly oblivious to.
 
I tend to agree. But then none of these folks could write like The doors, Amon Duul 2, Guru Guru, ELP, and Genesis and many others.
 
It's comparatively speaking, and we're mixing up the discussion. There won't be another Pavarotti for at least 50 years and the next one will likely rise off rock music, mostly because "serious" music schools are not giving a whole lot of attention to "music". Their definition excludes anything from 1950 on, so to speak!
 
So, yeah, it has died to a degree, but that killing was of its own making, and Ian Anderson satirized in one album cover! Notice that the ballerina was not Jim, Janis or Jimi! And where was the audience?
 
Samething here locally, when the local orchestra thinks that Pink Martini is the answer to bring in a couple of sexy women to show off in front of the orchestra to make people think that the music is better! What else is new?
 
But, a lot of the modern opera houses and concert halls are at fault. They could easily bring in folks that would help their sales and create fusions that would be different and trippy, but they won't, and instead bring in names that you and I do not care about, and they are not that good anyway! Why would I spend money on Blah and Blah Smith on the flute when Ian Anderson is far better and more interesting than anything they play? Same thing for violin. Why would I spend money on some idiot, when Jean Luc Ponty can dance all around him/her and make their music sound down right boring?
 
That's a real problem, but until those instructors and light keepers of the modern orchestras wake up, it will continue to be dead! I even made a suggestion to the guy here in Portland about doing some Frank Zappa. His response? That isn't music!
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 11:04
Originally posted by moshkito moshkito wrote:

Originally posted by presdoug presdoug wrote:

 No one can compose like Berlioz, Brahms, Wagner, Bruckner, no one can sing like Caruso, Flagstad, no one can conduct like Toscanini, Beecham, Furtwangler, no one can play like Schnabel, Arrau, Backhaus. Yes, it has died. Except for the writings and recordings of that previous era, which a lot of people are sadly oblivious to.
 
I tend to agree. But then none of these folks could write like The doors, Amon Duul 2, Guru Guru, ELP, and Genesis and many others.
 
It's comparatively speaking, and we're mixing up the discussion. There won't be another Pavarotti for at least 50 years and the next one will likely rise off rock music, mostly because "serious" music schools are not giving a whole lot of attention to "music". Their definition excludes anything from 1950 on, so to speak!
 
So, yeah, it has died to a degree, but that killing was of its own making, and Ian Anderson satirized in one album cover! Notice that the ballerina was not Jim, Janis or Jimi! And where was the audience?
 
Samething here locally, when the local orchestra thinks that Pink Martini is the answer to bring in a couple of sexy women to show off in front of the orchestra to make people think that the music is better! What else is new?
 
But, a lot of the modern opera houses and concert halls are at fault. They could easily bring in folks that would help their sales and create fusions that would be different and trippy, but they won't, and instead bring in names that you and I do not care about, and they are not that good anyway! Why would I spend money on Blah and Blah Smith on the flute when Ian Anderson is far better and more interesting than anything they play? Same thing for violin. Why would I spend money on some idiot, when Jean Luc Ponty can dance all around him/her and make their music sound down right boring?
 
That's a real problem, but until those instructors and light keepers of the modern orchestras wake up, it will continue to be dead! I even made a suggestion to the guy here in Portland about doing some Frank Zappa. His response? That isn't music!
Thanks for your response, some good points made.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 12:15
No one has explained how it is the Canterbury groups don't outright disprove the second definition of Prog incorporating classical influence. I have never heard of any controversy about Canterbury being Prog. Also, since Frank Zappa has clear, self-professed, and plainly evident classical influences, Zappa should regarded as more prototypically progressive than the Canterbury school. This is the opposite of what most people would say intuitively. I'm more than happy to include Zappa in my classification of Prog (the very first of his kind), but I concur with intuitions that Identify him as less prototypical.

BTW, US bands, such as Zappa's, were always referred to distinctly as "Art Rock" in my experience. I had never heard of British bands referred to with that term in the US, as a prior post asserted.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 12:34
^ Zappa is definitely PROG. I don't know how that could be disputed otherwise.
;)
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 12:46
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:









Classical music is alive and well.


This is interesting indeed,but in what way is this to be considered "classical"? The instrumentation, the presence of a conductor? Or is it just classical in opposition to popular?
Can modern music be "classical"? Personally I'm more inclined to call it art music.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 12:52
From PA;s own definition page header:

Form: Progressive rock songs either avoid common popular music song structures of verse-chorus-bridge, or blur the formal distinctions by extending sections or inserting musical interludes, often with exaggerated dynamics to heighten contrast between sections. Classical forms are often inserted or substituted, sometimes yielding entire suites, building on the traditional medleys of earlier rock bands. Progressive rock songs also often have extended instrumental passages, marrying the classical solo tradition with the improvisational traditions of jazz and psychedelic rock. All of these tend to add length to progressive rock songs, which may last longer than twenty minutes.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 13:45
I grew up in my country with all kinds of music derived from the Afro rythms largely "diffused": jazz(there´s controversies about its root), samba, bossa nova, blues, rap, funk, etc. I've got to respect their numerous genius of these genres of music as part of everyone's personal preferences.

But I see in this FORUM people trying to personally describe with WORDS the variable extent of the diverse genres of music in a prog rock composition - it would be good to remind that WORDS are quite limited, NOT the music, which doesn't have limits of expression.

Someone said classical music died?!  Oh GOD !... If Classical Music dies I'll no longer have to wait for the reborn of NEW GENIUS of music enlarging the list of my favorite ones (Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart, Tchaikowsky, Chopin, Rossini...etc), is there anything worst than that ??

Obviously my long date preferences in Prog Rock were the different classical influences along the history of prog. And that will always be present, i.e. this music will never die, as of course also will never die the music of legend Rock bands & composers like Pink Floyd, The Who, Eric Clapton, Steve Hackett, Steve Howe, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, The Moody Blues...etc... (in fact, not all of these are "PROG").


Edited by Rick Robson - December 29 2013 at 18:24


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 14:25
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

That's a good point, there is also something to the second definition's favour I can't believe hasn't been mentioned yet: Under the first definition it would be somewhat difficult to fit "new old school" prog rock bands under the same category as their influences, unless they've got a distinctive enough signature style.


Yes, the punctus saliens is that progressive rock in the conventional sense just isn't the same as "rock that is (in some sense) progressive", the same way not every black bird is a blackbird.  There is a lot of rock that is in some way progressive that has nothing to do with progressive rock, and there are many "retro-prog" bands who aren't really progressive because they just do what other progressive rock bands have done before them, and that notwithstanding - or rather thereby - share in the progressive rock tradition.

Quote Regarding Pink Floyd's status as progressive rock, Derogatis argues against it on the basis of 1) the band members themselves rejecting the categorization just like Jethro Tull's did 2) the classical elements in their music being nowhere as prominent as in what King Crimson were doing at the same time, or as integral to their sound as Genesis'.


Ad 1): King Crimson rejected that categorization, too.  Ad 2): Sure.  There are fewer classical elements and there is more blues in PF's music than in most of the others'.

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 15:42
Originally posted by HackettFan HackettFan wrote:

No one has explained how it is the Canterbury groups don't outright disprove the second definition of Prog incorporating classical influence. I have never heard of any controversy about Canterbury being Prog. Also, since Frank Zappa has clear, self-professed, and plainly evident classical influences, Zappa should regarded as more prototypically progressive than the Canterbury school. This is the opposite of what most people would say intuitively. I'm more than happy to include Zappa in my classification of Prog (the very first of his kind), but I concur with intuitions that Identify him as less prototypical.

BTW, US bands, such as Zappa's, were always referred to distinctly as "Art Rock" in my experience. I had never heard of British bands referred to with that term in the US, as a prior post asserted.


Originally posted by progbethyname progbethyname wrote:

^ Zappa is definitely PROG. I don't know how that could be disputed otherwise.
;)

I agree, though I know some would not be so like-minded. And I've said elsewhere that he's even the first Prog musician (and one of my favorites), but that doesn't necessarily make him the most prototypical relative to the term (As a point of evidence; he was not really even considered - except by me - in a recent PA thread concerning the "Big Six", for instance). So I re-iterate, if Canterbury bands are even on a par with Zappa as exemplars of Prog, then classical influence is not necessary to qualify as Prog.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 18:15
Originally posted by brainstormer brainstormer wrote:

OK, this is my last post in reference to you, as I really am not interested in dialoging with you because I can sense the motivation behind what you're saying.


Is that code for "you're winning the debate so I'm going to back out now"?

Originally posted by brainstormer brainstormer wrote:

You can interpolate whatever you want into my words and I will admit that "bubble gum" does sound negative to most, but it's not meant to be by my sense of the term.  I will speak in any way I please because I think enough people with a mature perspective will understand what I mean.  That's not saying
their opinion is right, and yours is wrong. 


I didn't interpolate anything into your words.  I understood exactly what you meant.

Originally posted by Wikipedia Wikipedia wrote:


The chief characteristics of the genre are that it is pop music contrived and marketed to appeal to pre-teens and teenagers, is produced in an assembly-line process, driven by producers, often using unknown singers and has an upbeat sound.  The songs typically have singalong choruses, seemingly childlike themes and a contrived innocence, occasionally combined with an undercurrent of sexual double entendre.  Bubblegum songs are also defined as having a catchy melody, simple chords, simple harmonies, dancy (but not necessarily danceable) beats, repetitive riffs or "hooks", use of solfege syllables and a vocally-multiplied refrain. Bubblegum rarely has guitar solos, usually features the organ, and often use a single handclap or double handclap as prominent percussion.

The song lyrics often concern romantic love, but many times are about just feeling good or being happy, with references to sunshine, loving one another, toys, colors, nonsense words, etc. They are also notable for their frequent reference to sugary food, including sugar, honey, butterscotch, jelly and marmalade.

That doesn't describe progressive rock at all.  And it's rather insulting to progressive rock musicians to insinuate that it does; whether you think "serious" music is superior to "bubblegum" music or not is irrelevant, it's still a falsehood and one that devalues the significance of prog (and, the way you say it, all other types of rock music too).  Probably you're using the word "bubblegum" in a broader sense than the article defines it but the implication of frivolousness is the same.  And if you think that all classical music was supposed to be serious, you are sore mistaken.

Originally posted by brainstormer brainstormer wrote:

The type of music that fits my description is most of the music on this site, which I've heard a lot of. Some of it I won't like, and it's still Prog Rock.  I suppose Genesis music is not heavily produced?  By lo-fi, think of a piano in a room.  I would say all the things you mentioned in your last sentence have more going into it than what the band sounds like just playing raw.  And even so, since it's popular to admit our love of garage band and other raw environments, my next statement might open up some more debate. The music itself is made into rock which is idiosyncratic and for people that are looking for real experimental music that is also beautiful, that gets old quickly when done in a "Prog" fashion.  Maybe insert some of the sites older conversations about what Prog is here, etc.


I have heard bands (and not just prog bands) play "raw."  If the band is good, they are still able to sound good without studio effects.  Anyone with even a cursory experience of live music can testify to this.  There are countless youtube videos, taken with people's video cameras, for crying out loud, of progressive rock bands that still sound good despite playing in a live environment and being recorded on a camera with bad sound quality.  As to your next statement, you're not even making any sense anymore.  Progressive rock is merely a musical genre.  It is as diverse as any other musical genre (at least proportionally to its lifespan).  To even talk about "doing experimental music in a 'Prog' fashion" is practically meaningless because countless experimental progressive rock bands have practically nothing in common besides complexity and rock instrumentation. 



Edited by Ambient Hurricanes - December 29 2013 at 18:15
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 18:22
Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:



-videos deleted to save space-

Classical music is alive and well.


This is interesting indeed,but in what way is this to be considered "classical"? The instrumentation, the presence of a conductor? Or is it just classical in opposition to popular?
Can modern music be "classical"? Personally I'm more inclined to call it art music.


I'm using "classical" in the popular sense of the word that refers to music in the classical western tradition of performance, instrumentation, etc. from Palestrina to Bartok and the like.  I'm aware that "classical" refers to a specific period of western "art music" but it's used often in it's broader sense and unless I'm mistaken, that's the sense in which presdoug was using it (since he included 20th century composers and others after the classical period).
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 18:46
Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:


Classical music is alive and well.


This is interesting indeed,but in what way is this to be considered "classical"? The instrumentation, the presence of a conductor? Or is it just classical in opposition to popular?
Can modern music be "classical"? Personally I'm more inclined to call it art music.

 
Can modern music be "classical"?  Some day, who knows...
Classical is this:


Edited by Rick Robson - February 01 2014 at 03:43


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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 19:03
Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:

Originally posted by silverpot silverpot wrote:

Originally posted by Ambient Hurricanes Ambient Hurricanes wrote:



-videos deleted to save space-

Classical music is alive and well.


This is interesting indeed,but in what way is this to be considered "classical"? The instrumentation, the presence of a conductor? Or is it just classical in opposition to popular?
Can modern music be "classical"? Personally I'm more inclined to call it art music.


I'm using "classical" in the popular sense of the word that refers to music in the classical western tradition of performance, instrumentation, etc. from Palestrina to Bartok and the like.  I'm aware that "classical" refers to a specific period of western "art music" but it's used often in it's broader sense and unless I'm mistaken, that's the sense in which presdoug was using it (since he included 20th century composers and others after the classical period).
Yeah, i use the term in it's broader sense, which would include current examples that Ambient Hurricanes has given.
            I am on old dial up internet access, so can't watch vids on my own computer, but when i get to my friend's place, i will check your examples.
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 29 2013 at 22:18
The 2nd defination which is the only correct one should include jazz as well. I reckon true prog is approximately the following:
 
25% rock(blues, rythm and blues)
25% folk(mainly english style)
25% classical
25% jazz
 
Well that's the best ingrediants for quality melody and playing. They produced melodies which are interesting and stay interesting for years progressing through the times. Barely any modern prog band can produce great melody because they have some real bad influences eg. hard rock, metal, punk, hip hop etc. So they'll have something like the following:
 
10% rock(blues, rythm and blues)
10% folk(mainly english style)
10% classical
10% jazz
60% crap influence
 
This music will never catch my ear. The melodies will not progress. It has small ingrediants of real prog and gets lumped under the prog name. They have to resort to the wrong definition of prog by trying to invent new styles of music to be noticed


Edited by dr prog - December 29 2013 at 22:21
All I like is prog related bands beginning late 60's/early 70's. Their music from 1968 - 83 has the composition and sound which will never be beaten. Perfect blend of jazz, classical, folk and rock.
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