1970s Push and 1980s Pull: Examining Social and Political Trends in Music

Branching off of the “Bohemian Rhapsody” topic is a closer look at pop and rock music of the 1970s and 1980s. Although the songs of these decades may appear to fall into a mutual “Oldies” category due to the differences in instruments and technology implemented, vocal tone qualities, and fashion choices made by the artists when compared to pop artists of the 2000s, there are several factors which distinguish 1970s music from 1980s music. But, what possibly could have contributed to so much change within ten short years of music history? Pop music, and even rock music in the form of New Wave in the 1970s, heavily emphasized lyrics of love. It focused more on the singer than on instrumental solos, and mostly stuck to the basic short form (or structure) of verse and chorus, rather than trying to get creative with each section of a musical piece, which could cause the piece to be lengthier. Read More »

Are Rock and Opera More Similar Than We Think? An Exploration of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and Its Operatic Tendencies

Most people would not even begin to put opera and rock in the same category, one with its bonnets, petticoats, and adherence to musical technique and conventions, and the other with its painted faces, outrageous hairdos, and free performance style. Yet, music scholars have argued otherwise. Both genres focus on the spectacle, or the idea of putting on a big show, topped with elaborate costumes and lighting effects. The singers of both genres of music generally tend to exhibit virtuosity, or vocal flexibility through their uses of runs, sustained (or held) notes, and leaps from one register in their voice to another. Additionally, both genres are known for their emphasis on the “high voice.” Read More »