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Title: Is there a canon of rock? : canonical values, terms and mechanisms in the reception of rock albums
Author: Jones, Carys Wyn
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2006
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This thesis addresses the issue of canon formation in the popular reception of rock music. The canon is the collection of works or artists that have been widely accepted as the greatest in their field. It is considered to be an inherently elitist concept however, this study explores symptomatic reflections of canonical values, terms and mechanisms from the canons of literature and classical music in the reception of rock music. The thesis is divided into three parts: the first explores the concept of the canon as theorised by Harold Bloom, John Guillory, Charles Altieri, William Weber and Marcia Citron, among others in the fields of literary criticism and musicology. Part 2 searches for these canonical ideas and ideals in the reception of rock music as represented by ten albums: Bob Dylan's Highway 61 Revisited, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, The Beatles' Revolver, The Velvet Underground's The Velvet Underground & Nico, Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, Marvin Gaye's What's Going On, The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main St., Patti Smith's Horses, The Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks: Here's the Sex Pistols, and Nirvana's Nevermind. Part 3 explores the resulting questions raised by the presence of canonical facets in the reception of rock music by stating a case for and against a canon in rock music. The thesis concludes that in the reception of popular music we are not simply trying to organise the past but mediate the present, and any canon of rock music must now negotiate a far more pluralized culture, and possibly accept a greater degree of change, than has been evident in the canons of classical music and literature in the last two centuries.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available