Notes from Underground: Rock Music Counterculture in Russia

By Thomas Cushman | Go to book overview

3

Musical Identity
and Authenticity:
The Local Meanings of
Rack Music in St. Petersburg

Art, like speech, is a means of communication, and
therefore of progress, i.e., of the movement of
humanity forward toward perfection. Speech ren
ders accessible to men of the latest generations all
the knowledge discovered by experience and reflec
tion, both of preceding generations and of the best
and foremost men of their own times; art renders
accessible to men of the latest generations all the
feelings experienced by their predecessors, and
those which are being felt by their best and fore
most contemporaries.
-- Leo Tolstoy, "What Is Art?"


The Identity of Cultural Objects

Many of the meanings of rock as a cultural practice and its relation to the formation of both individual and collective "counteridentities" within the context of socialist industrial society are implicit in the rich life histories presented in the last chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the meaning of rock music as a cultural form within the Petersburg rock musical community. Before we can more fully understand how the practice of music-making serves as a basis for the development of alternative individual and group iden-

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