2016FallSymposiumURCreativityEngagement has ended
Tuesday, December 6 • 9:40am - 10:00am
Marquee Moon: The New Wave Sonata

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The New York City music scene of the early 1970s was an exciting one: the influence of the no-wave music was heavy, and punk wasn’t too far away. In 1974 the band Television secured a residency at one of the most influential clubs in New York, CBGB’s, and was placed into the foreground of the new wave movement. After recording their first single independently, Television received a deal with Elektra Records and recorded their debut album Marquee Moon (1977). The title track is a staggering composition/improvisation that runs for almost eleven minutes, and despite punk music’s rebellious nature, this piece arguably follows one of the most traditional forms of classical music, sonata form. Typically when such a well formed and complete model for musical form exists, there is a tendency to place this category in isolation; either a piece of music empirically conforms or it does not. However, aspects of sonata form translate to other genres more readily than one might think, for example, one of the most prominent elements of sonata form is the presence of two contrasting melodies, what could be considered in pop music to be the verse and chorus. In the case of “Marquee Moon” there are many elements that link it closely with sonata form and others that separate it. Using Ken Stephenson’s What to Listen for in Rock, as well as materials by Hepokoski and Darcy, and William Caplin this paper aims to analyze this coexistence of form and disarray.


Tuesday December 6, 2016 9:40am - 10:00am
018 Lipinsky Hall