Rock Formation: Music, Technology, and Mass Communication

“The strength and uniqueness of his approach lies in his experience as a producer and engineer, which gives him a familiarity with the recording studio and process that enlivens the material in this book…. Rock Formation also includes a clear and concise history of sound recording from the phonograph to digital recording and the CD…. The book explores the intricacies of the music technology industry and gives an insightful account of the implications for designing and marketing equipment for the dominant rock music market. A chapter on the dilemmas and legal complications surrounding copyright law and the copying of sounds is very informative, including a discussion of the production method of ‘sampling,’ the process whereby artists recontextualize ‘snatches of sound’ from other recordings.” – Popular Music and Society “The book provides good historical background and lucid accounts of the arguments…. It can be warmly recommended, both as an introduction and a stimulus to further work in these areas.” – IPM Newsletter “Similar to the volumes which precede it in the series, it is written with sufficient clarity to serve nicely as an upper-level undergraduate textbook. At the same time, as a book that consolidates a good deal of historical research and offers some fresh arguments, it adds up to the growing body of literature on popular music written from a communications perspective…. As a musician who has worked on both sides of the control room window, Jones is attentive to minor shifts in the importance and creative input of various occupational or creative roles…. As a point in the development of popular music studies where the pendulum has swung towards studies of consumption and reception, a book that skillfully maps out long-term changes in the material circumstances of musical production is a welcome change.” – Canadian Journal of Communication “Jones says that technology ‘organizes our experience of popular music,’ and supports this in the third book in Sage's series, with a concise and clear text.” – Communication Booknotes “This well-researched study on popular music production goes far beyond any previous work on the subject…. The strengths of this book include extensive quotes from primary sources and an excellent reference section. Rock Formation adds an important dimension to the study of rock and its impact on popular culture. Recommended for graduate and undergraduate communication and music students.” – Choice From Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones, to the heavy metal and punk movements of the last 10 years, rock music has often been praised for its joyful spontaneity and dogged rebelliousness. However, argues industry veteran Steve Jones, contrary to popular perception, rock music is in fact biased toward control, particularly by means of the technology employed in the recording process. Rock Formation examines the history and influence of recording technology on popular music and develops a critical analysis of the interplay between technology, sound, and creativity. It explains the connections between popular music, technology, and mass communication and questions how values–social, cultural, and musical–are transmitted through the process of recording. While there have been many studies of popular music's content and audience in the past 20 years, Rock Formation fills an important gap by exploring the mediation of the most pervasive form of cultural expression–popular music. For both music scholars and committed rock buffs, Rock Formation is an ideal introduction to the subject of popular music production. Jones' work is a study in culture production suitable for courses in popular culture, cultural studies, American studies, sociology, music and communication studies.

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles