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The stylistic development of the Grateful Dead : 1965-1973.

Longcroft-Wheaton, Octavius (2020) The stylistic development of the Grateful Dead : 1965-1973. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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The Grateful Dead formed in 1965 and developed alongside the Haight-Ashbury counterculture in California. The band initially consisted of Jerry Garcia (lead guitar), Bob Weir (Rhythm Guitar), Phil Lesh (bass guitar), Ron ‘Pigpen’ McKernan (keyboard) and Bill Kreutzmann (Drums) and remained active until Garcia’s death in 1995. The Grateful Dead were fundamental to the development of the musical style of the jamband, and their influence continues to be observed widely today. Whilst the San Francisco countercultural scene has been studied extensively from a sociological perspective, little scholarly attention has hitherto been given to the music itself, with the exception of Graham Boone’s analysis of ‘Dark Star’ and David Malvinni’s book on rock improvisation. Yet the Grateful Dead developed a unique style that combines large improvisations with influences from many popular, traditional and world musical roots, whose study therefore sheds much light on the emergence of jambands from a profusion of styles, and how such extensive poly-instrumental jams can be created. It is therefore of importance to the wider field of popular musicology that this influential and popular musical genre is subject to academic scrutiny and discourse. This thesis will focus on the musical characteristics that define the Grateful Dead’s early sound from 1965 -1973 through the analysis of selected case studies. It will outline the origins of the Grateful Dead, from their beginnings within the San Francisco scene. Exploration of the historical and cultural context in which their music developed will enable the subsequent analyses to be located within the sociocultural context in which it was shaped.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Longcroft-Wheaton, Octavius
Date : 31 July 2020
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00858118
Copyright Disclaimer : This thesis and the work to which it refers are the results of my own efforts. Any ideas, data, images or text resulting from the work of others (whether published or unpublished) are fully identified as such within the work and attributed to their originator in the text, bibliography or in footnotes. This thesis has not been submitted in whole or in part for any other academic degree or professional qualification. I agree that the University has the right to submit my work to the plagiarism detection service TurnitinUK for originality checks. Whether or not drafts have been so-assessed, the University reserves the right to require an electronic version of the final document (as submitted) for assessment as above.
Contributors :
Depositing User : Octavius Longcroft-Wheaton
Date Deposited : 29 Jul 2020 15:30
Last Modified : 29 Jul 2020 15:31

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