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The so-called ‘flattened seventh’ in rock

  • Allan Moore

This article began, quite simply, as the presentation of a stage in the mapping-out of those harmonic practices which serve to distinguish rock and closely cognate styles (hereafter simply ‘rock’) from those of common-practice tonality on one hand, and jazz on another. It soon became apparent, however, that such a task necessitated some detailed consideration of the means by which the conclusions might be presented and, therefore, some careful consideration of analytic method. To my knowledge, there is as yet very little concern for theorising analytic method in rock music and, therefore, what follows may act as a tentative opening of a difficult debate. The issue at present is, simply, whether or not Schenkerian theory can be adequately applied to this music. My conclusion is that as yet it cannot, and I shall present my findings in that light, but the reasons for my position must, I think, be spelt out. Thereafter, my specific concern will be to investigate varieties of the use of the diatonic ‘flattened seventh’ in rock, which I shall do by focusing in turn on three issues, investigating them through the analysis of particular examples rather than through any larger generalisations.

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Popular Music
  • ISSN: 0261-1430
  • EISSN: 1474-0095
  • URL: /core/journals/popular-music
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