Thursday, 10 November 2011

WS & SP - The Genre of Muse

Before we can start to really plan our idea, we need to get a very good understanding of the genre and sub-genres for both Muse, and our chosen song in particular.

The main genre that Muse come under is Alternative Rock. We feel we need to get an understanding of this genre, in addition to looking at New Prog and Space Rock, the two genres that "Bliss" comes under. 

Alternative Rock
Alternative Rock is a sub-genre of Rock and can also be known as 'Alternative music','Alt Rock' or 'Alternative'.
"At times, "alternative" has been used as a catch-all description for music from underground rock artists that receives mainstream recognition, or for any music, whether rock or not. Alternative rock is a broad umbrella term consisting of music that differs greatly in terms of its sound, its social context and its regional roots." [Wikipedia]
Typical and common instruments used in Alternative Rock include: 

  • Electric Guitar
  • Bass Guitar
  • Drums
  • Key Board
Here is a quote from a blog we have found on Google:
"In alt-rock videos there is usually a narrative within the video that either tells a story that follows the lyrics of the song or the story will completely ignore the lyrics and be something random or something that still holds a meaning behind them but not necessarily what the lyrics have to say. As well as the narrative there is also a live a performance of the song by the band lip syncing and playing their instruments. The videos always have many cuts between the actual performance of the song to the narrative which usually stars the band as either portraying themselves or fictional characters."
As well as the above quote, we have also found an excellent 'Prezi' on the Alt. Rock genre and what the conventions are for this kind of music video.

We have now looked into the Alternative Rock genre, but there are also more specific genres for our actual song that we need to look into.

Space Rock
"Space rock is a subgenre of rock music; the term originally referred to a group of early, mostly British, 1970s progressive and psychedelic rock bands such as Hawkwind and Pink Floyd, characterised by slow, lengthy instrumental passages dominated by electric organssynthesizers, experimental guitar work and science fiction or astronomical lyrical themes, though it was later repurposed to refer to a series of late 1980s British alternative rock bands that drew from earlier influences to create a more ambient but still melodic form of pop music." [Wikipedia]
Space Rock is one of the genres of the song 'Bliss'. As the above quote states it is a sub-genre of Rock Music. In addition to the quote from Wikipedia, I have also found the below quote:
"Space rock is largely an extension of psychedelic rock (and/or krautrock) and shares many of its similar mind-altering and atmospheric features. Its main features include the recreation of atmospheres that correspond to images of both outer and inner space. Some of the modern groups in this style also incorporate influences of reggae/dub." [The Guide to the Progressive Rock Genres]
These two quotes provide us with a clear view of what this genre is and where it comes from. Due to the references with space and astronomy aspects discussed in the first quote, it is clear why this particular video fits into the genre.

New Prog
 "New prog (also known as Nu prog, Post-prog or Post-progressive) is a term used to describe a number of recent alternative rock/experimental bands who incorporate elements from progressive rock. "New prog" has connections and overlaps with the post-rock movement, whilst frequently diverging with the indie scene." [Wikipedia]

The above quote is taken from Wikipedia. The reason this is interesting is that on there is a list of notable bands who have music associated with the genre. Muse are included in that list along with the likes of 'Radiohead' and '30 Seconds To Mars'  

A useful website with a large amount of information on Prog Rock can be found here. The site includes definitions, musical and other characteristics.

Common instruments in the genre include:

  • Guitar
  • Bass
  • Keyboard
  • Piano
  • Drums

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