Wednesday, July 21, 2021

"Rock and Rhapsodies: The Music of Queen"

New from Oxford University Press: Rock and Rhapsodies: The Music of Queen by Nick Braae.

About the book, from the publisher:

Since 1973, Queen have captivated listeners through the intense sonic palette of voices and guitars, the sprawling and epic journeys of songs, and charismatic splendour of their live performances. Rock and Rhapsodies is the first book to undertake a musicological study of the band's output, with a fundamental aim of discovering what, exactly, gave Queen's songs their magical and distinct musical identity. Focusing on the material written, recorded, and released between 1973 and 1991, author Nick Braae provides readers with an in-depth and nuanced analytical account of the group's individual musical style (or "idiolect"), and illuminates the multifaceted stylistic and historical contexts in which Queen's music was created. Aspects of Queen's songs are also used as a springboard for exploring a range of further analytical and discursive issues: the nature of a musical style; the conceptual relationship between an artist, style, and genre; form in popular songs; and the character and identity of a singing voice.

Following an introduction and "primer" on Queen's idiolect, Rock and Rhapsodies presents ten further chapters, each of which offers a snapshot of a particular musical element (form, the voice), a particular subset of repertoire (Freddie Mercury's large-scale 1970s songs), or a particular era (post-1991), thus painting a rich overall picture of both the band's history and their ongoing presence in popular culture. Along the way, there is an underlying focus on interrogating and substantiating the themes and ideas that emerge from the writing, documentaries and other media on Queen, using a variety of analytical tools and close readings of songs, to demonstrate how aspects of critical reception align (or not) with musical details. Rock and Rhapsodies will reward any reader who has been enchanted by the myriad and complex musical components that make up any Queen song.
Visit Nick Braae's website.

--Marshal Zeringue