Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 25. 3rd October 1973
Rock Music as Art
Rock Music as Art
Throughout this year Salient despite other faults, has displayed a sound sense of economy. However a recent article entitled "Is Rock Music Art?" did little to justify either the space given it or answered the question raised by the title. The fact that most people in the rock music business are in it for the money and make little pretense to be artists is not sufficient reason to deny rock music the status of an art form. Just as most movie people are in it to provide entertainment and don't want to be judged as artists does not mean that films cannot be an art form. That due to the commercial nature of rock music it is unusual for artistic ability to come to the fore has not meant this has never happened. You could say that many classical composers as bonded to aristocratic patronage were not artists due to their necessarily commercial outlook and in fact should not try to go beyond merely pleasing their backers. If Dylan is recognised as an artist then rock music must be his art form. If Zappa's 200 Motels by using classical forms can be considered as a work of an artist (can it?) then what happens when you consider Hot Rats? Surely the fact that records make it possible to rehear music in a way never possible during the classical era has made it necessary for rock music to become (in some cases at least) "reflective" and "profound" if only to keep its audience. The throwaway era has not advanced that far yet. And if you dismiss rock as mere body, advancing music what part does this type of music play in African culture. Was the blues merely body music. Rock has its roots and is able to perform (if allowed) many of the artistic functions of these roots. Move commercialisation cannot destroy this fact.