Reconfiguring genre, style, and idiolect: investigating progressive rock’s meta-genre and affordances

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Abstract

In this article, the relationship between the classificatory terms of genre, style, and idiolect is examined. Focusing on progressive rock – noted for its heterogenous nature – I propose that we should adapt our current understanding of idiolect to encompass both the collective idiolects associated with particular bands, and the personal idiolects of musicians that perform in them. Allan F. Moore has previously argued that for some progressive rock bands, their idiolect may transcend the notion of style. In this article, I suggest that the collective idiolect of a band may also transcend genre, and that we should think of progressive rock not only as a set of sub-genres or a network of styles, but also as an assemblage of collective idiolects. Moreover, I contend that greater attention should be paid to the classificatory activities of progressive rock fans whose “lay discourses” forge connections between the different bands.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPopular Music and Society
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2024

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