Preface by Philippe Gonin
Despite the undeniable presence of trends that can be described as experimental in the history of rock, talking about "experimental rock" as a musical genre per se remains problematic.
This book discusses approaches by musicians and bands that, while rooted in the rock tradition, transcend the boundaries - stylistic as well as sociological and economic - specific to rock. The musical aesthetics of Frank Zappa, of the Rock In Opposition collective (and more specifically of Henry Cow and Stormy Six) and of the Italian group Yugen, are part of the same tradition of experimentation, without leading to similar productions from a stylistic point of view.
Moreover, the reflections, carried out by these artists, on the economic and social - even political - stakes linked to the activity of musician, prove that experimentation is not simply a question of aesthetics.
The research in this book follows a multidisciplinary approach.
First, it defines the constitutive features of rock music, sociology and economics, and understands to what extent the notion of experimentation has been integrated into rock music throughout history.
Then, the examples provided by Zappa, Henry Cow, Stormy Six and Yugen will allow us to discuss concretely the articulation between rock and experimentation, through musical analyses and the description of the socio-economic positioning of these artists.