On Becoming a Rock Musician

H. Stith Bennett. Foreword by Howard S. Becker

Columbia University Press

On Becoming a Rock Musician

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Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231182850

304 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00£24.95

Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231182843

304 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00£74.95

Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231544405

304 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.95

On Becoming a Rock Musician

H. Stith Bennett. Foreword by Howard S. Becker

Columbia University Press

In the 1960s and 1970s, becoming a rock musician was fundamentally different than playing other kinds of music. It was a learned rather than a taught skill. In On Becoming a Rock Musician, sociologist H. Stith Bennett observes what makes someone a rock musician and what persuades others to take him seriously in this role. The book explores how bands form; the backstage and onstage reality of playing in a band; how bands promote themselves and interact with audiences and music professionals like DJs; and the role of performance.
The information captured in these pages remains as relevant today as it was thirty years ago when rock and roll was still in its nova stage. Bennett’s book is perhaps the only one of its kind to explain the relatively inscrutable process of how one finds their own ‘sound,’ and in so doing, he expands the reach of sociology deeper into the meaning of social music. A rare combination of scholarship and street smarts. Ben Sidran, host of NPR's Jazz Alive
At long last back in print and with a foreword by Howard Becker! This book is indispensable for any ethnomusicology of contemporary pop music. H. Stith Bennett brings the resources of phenomenology to the sociology of pop and rock music, meaning not only field work but method. Bennett’s celebrated notion of recording consciousness is the key to On Becoming a Rock Musician, yet the book as a whole shows the reader how ethnomusicology is done. Babette Babich, author of The Hallelujah Effect: Music, Performance Practice, and Technology
Foreword to the Legacy Edition, by Howard S. Becker
Preface
A Guide for the Reader
Acknowledgments
Part I. Group Dynamics
1. Introduction
2. Group Definition and Redefinition
Part II. Rock Ecology
3. Instruments and "the Outside World"
4. Equipment and the Band Van
5. Gigs
Part III. Mastering the Technological Component
6. Technology and The Music
7. The Realities of Practice
Part IV. Performance: Aesthetics and the Technological Imperative
8. Playing
9. "Other People's Music"
Afterword
Appendix: Loudness and Equalization
Notes
Bibliography
Index

About the Author

H. Stith Bennett has taught at the University of Illinois, the University of Washington, the University of Missouri, and Colorado Women’s College. He now lives off the grid in a cabin in Colorado, where he writes his own prose, poems, and songs.