From the Scientific Revolution to Rock: Toward a Sociology of Feedback

Abstract : For many people, rock's primal scene is set in a recording studio, in Memphis, in 1954. There, three musicians (Scotty Moore, Bill Black and Elvis Presley), a producer/engineer (Sam Phillips) and a tape recorder (Ampex) create a song ('All Right Mama') that durably transforms the physiognomy of music. In this article, I examine the technological, political and intellectual circumstances that made this event possible. One word holds pride of place in my discussion: feedback, a mode of organisation that originated in British scientific laboratories of the eighteenth century. 2 1 A great " thank you " to my sciences studies' mentors Jean-Paul Gaudillière and Ilana Löwy, to Valentine Lellouche for the drawing and to Illa Carrillo Rodríguez for the translation and (good) comments. 2 My approach is not exclusive and is compatible with the literature that attributes Elvis Presley's sudden emergence in the music scene to economic factors [Peterson 1991], to the audience's weariness of crooners [Ward 1986] or, indeed, to Presley's and his producer's talent
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Contributor : François Ribac <>
Submitted on : Monday, June 6, 2016 - 2:40:18 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 8, 2018 - 2:50:15 PM


Publication funded by an institution


  • HAL Id : hal-01327184, version 1


François Ribac. From the Scientific Revolution to Rock: Toward a Sociology of Feedback. Journal of the art of record production, 2007, Journal of the art of record production, 1, ⟨⟩. ⟨hal-01327184⟩



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