On Becoming a Rock Musician

By H. Stith Bennett | Go to book overview

Playing

Local Rock Events For copy groups the problem of performance is to find ways to use the instruments and equipment of the live medium to approximate aesthetics originally produced through the recording medium. As has been shown, the process of hearing recorded sounds and transforming them into performable sounds is the essential musical knowledge of local rock musicians, and it is in this sense that recordings serve as a notational system and that the copy group serves as its own pedagogical institution. Taking this approach a step further and applying it to a local group's performance, then, is tracing the ways in which the parameters of the recording consciousness are recapitulated in the live rock event. It is important to remember that the sound control possibilities of the media themselves—the studio environment or the band's portable audio environment—are not aesthetics, but resources. It is the unique combination of those controls that produces (and reproduces) the collectively negotiated good sounds—electronically emphasized ways of listening—that are aesthetics in this context. An aesthetic, then, is a way of playing with sound, and the means of electronic sound control can provide a practical infinity of aesthetics by the arrangement of their elements. For the copy group's purposes each commercial recording is exemplary of an aesthetic—a sound— which can be differentiated by parts and then re-integrated into a performance. Composers, musicians, producers, and engineers make recordings with identifiable sound control choices which are then approximated in performance by copy groups as "the same" sound.

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On Becoming a Rock Musician
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • On Becoming a Rock Musician *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • Contents *
  • Preface *
  • I - Group Dynamics *
  • Introduction *
  • Group Definition and Redefinition *
  • II - Rock Ecology *
  • Instruments and "The Outside World" *
  • Equipment and the Band Van *
  • Gigs *
  • III - Mastering the Technological Component *
  • Technology and the Music *
  • The Realities of Practice *
  • IV - Performance: Aesthetics and the Technological Imperative *
  • Playing *
  • "Other People's Music" *
  • Appendix *
  • Loudness and Equalization *
  • Notes *
  • A Guide for the Reader *
  • Bibliography *
  • Index *
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