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From the dawn of the Sabbath ... metal was born

Cope, AL 2007, From the dawn of the Sabbath ... metal was born , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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The early 1990s saw the publication of important academic works on the subject of heavy metal music. These works were seminal in that they were the first to recognise and interrogate, in any substantial way, a topic that had been, until then, valued only as a cultural/sociological subject. Those ground-breaking works included Robert Walser's 1993 publication Running with The Devil: Power, Gender and Madness in Heavy Metal and Deena Weinstein's Heavy Metal: The Music and its Culture first published in 1991. Both works however, present heavy metal in broad terms, creating a wide paradigm that includes bands with widely differing musical syntax and aesthetic concerns (e.g. Cradle of Filth to Bon Jovi). These generalisations, being based on the perceived commonality of such concepts as power-chords and gendering, form something of a paradox that has been unquestioningly embraced by subsequent authors and so sustaining that opinion. I have challenged these generalisations and asserted that hard rock and heavy metal are distinctly different generic forms in both musical syntax and aesthetic. Moreover, I have argued that both Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin were pivotal in the formation of heavy metal and hard rock respectively and that the first six albums of both bands were particularly significant to the generic evolution of both forms of music. Heavy metal has evolved and become an established form of music over the last three and a half decades but vitally retains the central coding established in Black Sabbath's early work, not least the consistent utilisation of key intervals such as the tritone and flat 2nd, modal riffs, down-tuned guitars, aggressive performance techniques, episodic structuring and anti-patriarchal themes. By contrast, Led Zeppelin made significant contributions to the evolution of hard rock through a re-working of blues-based themes and syntax and the development of an eclectic repertoire. This work deconstructs that evolutionary process, highlighting the distinct nature of both forms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Whiteley, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media
Schools > College of Arts & Social Sciences > School of Arts & Media > Arts, Media and Communication Research Centre
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:03

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