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The Musical Language of Rock - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Musical Language of Rock

David Temperley


A theory of the structure of rock music is presented, addressing aspects such as tonality/key, harmony, rhythm/meter, melody, phrase structure, timbre/instrumentation, form, and emotional expression. The book brings together ideas from the author’s previous articles but also contains substantial new material. Rock is defined broadly (as it often is) to include a wide range of late twentieth-century Anglo-American popular styles, including 1950s rock & roll, Motown, soul, “British invasion” rock, soft rock, heavy metal, disco, new wave, and alternative rock. The study largely employs the inform ... More

Keywords: rock music, music theory, harmony, key, meter, phrase structure, melody, timbre, musical form, emotion

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190653774
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190653774.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

David Temperley, author