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'Epic' songs

I will look at the ‘epic’ songs often written by rock bands in the 1960s and 1970s, contrasting their long form structures with those of standard pop songs. It will show how far popular song has developed from the da capo and dal segno forms taken from opera that are common in simple pop songs, and the 'pseudo-individualisation' discussed by Adorno. This work will look particularly at the structures of songs such as War Pigs, Kashmir, Close to the Edge, Bohemian Rhapsody, A Day in the Life, LA Woman, Won’t Get Fooled Again, The Great Gig in the Sky, Dark Star, Space Station Number 5, Supper’s Ready, 2112, The Court of the Crimson King, In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida and Trans-Europe Express, presenting, analysing and comparing structural graphical maps of the pieces. It will consider the sociological implications of the use of such structures, and look at associated references to the concept of 'epic' used by these bands.

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